Lung cancer is not always a death sentence. While the statistics surrounding lung cancer are concerning, your prognosis is specific to your health and overall condition. More than half of those who receive a lung cancer diagnosis pass away within a year of receiving that diagnosis, according to the American Lung Association. It has one of the lowest five-year survival rates of all cancer types. Additionally, the American Lung Association reports that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths of men and women in the United States.
One of the reasons lung cancer is especially dangerous is because it is hard to detect in its early stages. Lung cancer can grow undetected and exhibit no symptoms until it has spread to other parts of the body. By the time the cancer reaches stage four, the five-year survival rate is less than 5%, according to Healthline.
What You Should Know About Lung Cancer
An estimated 135,720 Americans will die of lung cancer in 2020, reports the American Cancer Society. It is important to know that only 16% of lung cancer patients receive an early diagnosis of the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. Being diagnosed early on is crucial to how well the body will respond to radiation and chemotherapy. Lung cancer found in its early stages can be treated with surgery to remove the affected areas. In fact, if the cancer remains only in the lung tissue, the five-year survival rate is 56%, reports the American Lung Association. However, if it spreads, the five-year survival rate falls to under 5%.
Common Signs of Possible Lung Cancer
Lung cancer can exhibit symptoms that may lead you to believe you simply have a persistent cold. It is important to let your doctor know of any preexisting factors, such as smoking or chemical exposure, that may impact your health.
Signs and symptoms of possible lung cancer include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Presence of blood in mucus or phlegm
- Chest, back, or shoulder pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Doctors use imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans, to diagnose lung cancer. In some cases, a biopsy of the lung may be necessary for determining the presence of cancer cells.
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There Are Two Major Types of Lung Cancer
Determining what type of lung cancer a patient has depends on the size of the abnormal cells in the infected lung tissue. These conditions include:
- Non-small cell lung cancer: This is the most common type of lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. In some cases, this condition does not respond well to chemotherapy.
- Small cell lung cancer: This type of lung cancer spreads quickly and is closely associated with smoking. About 85% of patients with small cell lung cancer have a history of smoking.
If you have a history of smoking or other chemical exposure, you should tell these details to your medical caregiver so they can accurately assess your health. Determining the stage and spread of your disease will give your doctor an idea of what course of treatment will be the most helpful.
Common Causes of Lung Cancer
There are a few common causes of lung cancer:
- Smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly nine out of every 10 lung cancers are smoking-related. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
- Asbestos. The American Lung Association notes that nonsmoking asbestos workers are five times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers with no history of asbestos exposure. For asbestos workers who do smoke, the risk is significantly higher.
- Radon. Exposure to radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas that is produced by decaying uranium. Radon exposure accounts for 21,000 cancer-related deaths each year.
If you received a lung cancer diagnosis and you believe that your illness was the result of another party’s negligence, you may want to contact a legal expert to fully understand your options.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for Help Today
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we understand that your lung cancer diagnosis is frightening and stressful. Facing mounting medical costs, as well as an intensive treatment, can prevent you from living a normal life.
Our legal team can help you understand your options and explore which is best for you. Additionally, we can calculate the total cost of your claim, and work to assign liability. We can also advise how your state’s statute of limitations applies to your case. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning that we do not get paid until you agree to a settlement offer.
Whether your cancer resulted from exposure to toxic chemicals in your place of work or at home, we want to review your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now to discuss your options for moving forward at (800) 794-0444.