Approximately 50 percent of all people who are diagnosed with lung cancer die within the first year, according to the American Lung Association. Each year, lung cancer takes the life of 1.8 million people worldwide.
In the United States, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women.
Although there are exceptions, lung cancer is always terminal.
Why Lung Cancer Is Deadly
About 541,000 Americans are living with lung cancer today, yet survival rates are among the lowest of any form of cancer.
Unlike other types of cancer, lung cancer is typically not caught in its early stages. By the time people have symptoms, the cancer has spread, making it too late for chemotherapy, surgery, or other cancer-fighting treatment.
Another reason why lung cancer is deadly is a lack of diagnostic tests. While there are diagnostic tests for colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, there is only one lung cancer test which may detect the disease early enough for treatment.
Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening May Help Certain People
Depending on your age and other factors, your doctor may recommend a low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) lung cancer screening. This non-invasive imaging test takes several detailed pictures of your lungs.
If lung cancer is detected before it can spread to other parts of your body, this can greatly improve your survival rate for the first year and for the next five years.
However, low-dose CT lung cancer screenings are only effective for certain people, including those who are:
- Current or former cigarette smokers
- Age 55 or older
Typically, doctors will only recommend this screening for smokers or former smokers who used tobacco for many years.
Causes of Lung Cancer
Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of lung cancer, but it is not the only cause.
Secondhand smoke – when nonsmokers breathe the smoky exhalations of smokers — also puts you at a higher risk for developing lung cancer.
The American Lung Association lists other causes of lung cancer, including:
- Exposure to radon, a radioactive gas that occurs naturally but is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
- Asbestos exposure, which is also the leading cause of a rare cancer called mesothelioma.
- Exposure to other carcinogens, including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel, uranium, and some petroleum products.
You are more likely to develop lung cancer than the average person if you have a family history of the disease.
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How Lung Cancer Is Diagnosed
Most people do not know that they have lung cancer until they start to have symptoms. However, some of these symptoms mimic other medical conditions, such as pneumonia or even allergies. This can make it difficult to diagnose lung disease or to catch the disease in its early stages.
The most common symptoms for lung cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:
- A new cough (not associated with a cold or allergy) that persists
- Coughing blood
- Constant chest pain
- Shortness of breath, wheezing
- Hoarse voice
- Losing weight without dieting
- Bone pain
Doctors typically use imaging tests such as CT or an X-ray to see if there are tumors or irregularities. You may also be given a bronchoscopy, where your doctor uses a slender, lighted tube to view your lungs.
Why You Would Contact a Law Firm After a Lung Cancer Diagnosis
A lung cancer diagnosis on its own is devastating. It is even more heartbreaking if you developed the disease because of another party’s negligence.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that typically begins in the lining of the lungs, according to Mayo Clinic. This deadly disease is caused by asbestos exposure.
If you or a loved one received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you may benefit from talking to a lawyer who handles asbestos exposure and lung cancer lawsuits.
How You Could Recover a Financial Award
A lawyer who understands mesothelioma lawsuits can assess your case to determine if you qualify for compensation. Most people are diagnosed with this type of lung cancer because of their job. Construction workers, auto mechanics, and firefighters are among those most at risk because they are regularly exposed to asbestos, a known carcinogen.
You may be able to sue your employer or another liable party for exposing you to asbestos, which caused you to develop lung cancer.
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Lung cancer is always terminal but there are circumstances where you could recover a financial award if you can prove negligence. This can help you with medical bills, lost pay, and other losses. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation with a member of our team: (800) 794-0444.