Our clients often ask, “Is lung cancer curable if caught early?” Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths. However, when caught at an early stage before it spreads to other areas of the body, the patient generally has a much better prognosis. When lung cancer is caught early, the American Cancer Society says there is a much higher likelihood of successful treatment and long-term remission.
Unfortunately, many types of lung cancer do not show any alarming symptoms during their early stages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes most asbestos-related lung cancers. Even when minor symptoms appear, people often assume it is allergies or a minor infection. This can delay the diagnosis and allow the cancer to advance.
It Is Important to Address Early Signs of Lung Cancer
If you have symptoms, risk factors, or there are other concerns about the health of your lungs, your doctor may want to run tests to rule out lung cancer—or to get a diagnosis as soon as possible. Mayo Clinic reports that these tests may include:
- X-rays, CT scans, and other medical imaging
- Sputum cytology testing, to see if there are cancerous cells in the sputum from your coughs
- A biopsy of the tumor or other abnormal cells
Your doctor can help you decide what steps you may be able to take.
Early Detection May Mean More Effective Lung Cancer Treatment
The first step following a lung cancer diagnosis is to determine whether the cancer has spread. This is called staging. The stage of your cancer at diagnosis plays a role in your treatment plan, prognosis, and other aspects of your care. When caught early, surgery is often possible.
Surgery to remove abnormal cells in lung tissue requires the surgeon to remove a margin of healthy tissue around the cancer, as well. This could require:
- Wedge resection, which takes only a section of one lobe of one lung
- Lobectomy, which removes an entire lobe of the lung
- Pneumonectomy, which removes an entire lung
- Segmental resection, which removes a larger portion of one lobe of the lung
Generally, surgery is an effective option for treating lung cancer when a patient receives their diagnosis early. Removing all the abnormal cells effectively cures the cancer. Your doctor may still prescribe chemotherapy and/or radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells or to reduce the risk of recurrence.
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Yearly Lung Cancer Screening May Help with Early Detection
In some cases, people who have an increased risk of cancer in the lungs may need to undergo annual screenings to watch for any early signs of abnormal cell growth. This includes people with occupational exposure to asbestos, especially if they were a smoker or continue to smoke. Tobacco use, when combined with asbestos exposure, exponentially increases the risk of developing an asbestos-related lung cancer.
Annual lung cancer screenings use low-dose CT scans and lung function tests to see if there is any reason for concern. This type of screening may help catch cancer early. According to the American Cancer Society, this type of screening can lower the risk of passing away from lung cancer because it is often caught at an earlier stage.
Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer May Support Legal Action
If you were diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer, you may be able to join hundreds of thousands of people who already recovered compensation in the asbestos lawsuit. You may be able to pursue an award or settlement by filing a claim or an asbestos lawsuit. Each state has its own time limits, so you should reach out to an attorney as early in the process as possible.
Talk to an Asbestos Lawyer About Your Case Today
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we do not believe you should have to pay for your treatment or other related losses. We believe in holding the asbestos companies who profited from this dangerous material responsible. We may be able to take legal action on your behalf to recover an award or settlement. We will not shy away from tough cases. Let us review your case today.
If we handle your asbestos cancer case, you will not need to pay us anything upfront. We will take our fee out of the settlement or award check we recover for you. Call (800) 794-0444 now to get started.