Lung cancer is a dangerous disease that some people develop from exposure to toxic substances where they live or work. Though treatable when diagnosed early, it can lead to expensive medical bills that can be a significant financial burden, even if you have health insurance. Familiarizing yourself with its symptoms will help you to spot and treat them faster.
According to Mayo Clinic, in the initial stages of lung cancer, you might have consistent coughs that become more severe over time. Your chest will also hurt when you breathe deeply, cough, or laugh. You may even start to cough up blood and phlegm.
As your lung cancer grows and starts spreading to the rest of your body, other organs will get injured. You may have nerve damage, which could result in chronic headaches, balancing problems, numbness in your limbs, or even seizures. Cancer that reaches the skeletal system can create painful lesions that weaken your bones. It can also affect the circulation in your body if it gets too close to your heart. Sometimes, lung cancer compromises the lymph nodes, which can further lower your immune system’s strength against infections.
Increased Risks for Lung Cancer
Having a family history of lung cancer does make you more likely to have it yourself. However, lifestyle choices and chemical exposure are usually the main culprits.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that smoking any tobacco products is the top cause of lung cancer in the United States. The group attributes around 80% of all lung cancer-related deaths to smoking. Tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that are not only toxic but are also carcinogens, which are substances that promote cancer growth. Some of these harmful compounds include formaldehyde, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and arsenic. Even if you do not smoke yourself, exposure to secondhand smoke still puts you at risk of lung cancer.
The leading cause of mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer, is asbestos. It is a material made of tiny fibers often used in insulation products. When you inhale asbestos, it imbeds itself in your lungs and gradually damages your cells. It may take decades for asbestos-related lung cancer to manifest, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Living in an area or having a job that can expose you to asbestos, such as manufacturing or construction work, can increase your chances of developing lung cancer.
Radon gas is yet another widespread chemical that can potentially cause lung cancer. It is a radioactive element that gets into the lining in your lungs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon poses more dangers when trapped indoors since it cannot diffuse as quickly as it would outdoors. You can get exposed to the gas in any building, be it at home or work.
Benefits of an Early Diagnosis
Lung cancer often gets diagnosed only when it has already advanced significantly. And even then, lung cancer symptoms share many similarities with other respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. They could also show up alongside your cancer, which can make detection even more difficult.
Consider having a check-up at least once a year whether or not you have a higher risk of having lung cancer. Doing so will help detect your sickness before it spreads to other organs, thus improving your chances of treating it successfully. You do not need to wait for any symptoms to show up before getting screened.
If you feel that your symptoms are more than just a case of bronchitis, see a doctor first. After they finish examining you, they can have you undergo a few tests, such as x-ray, MRI, or CT scans These tests will look for any unusual growths in your lungs that could be cancerous.
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Legal Options After a Diagnosis
You can file a lawsuit if you get lung cancer or any other disease due to another party’s negligence. For example, employers that do not supply workers with protective equipment for handling asbestos are liable for any injuries they suffer due to exposure. Meanwhile, a tenant that gets radon-caused lung cancer may sue their landlord for not taking care of the property’s radon gas buildup.
If you do plan on filing a case, you have the right to consult with a lawyer who knows your state’s laws regarding lung cancer claims and related lawsuits. They can also help you gather evidence to strengthen your case.
We Can Help Seek Compensation
Lung cancer is a deadly disease that can also put a permanent dent on your finances. If someone else is behind your condition, you can recover from the damage they caused and find justice and closure along the way. Our lung cancer attorneys at the office of Pintas & Mullin Law Firm can assist you in building your case and seeking the settlement you and your loved ones deserve.
If you want legal advice about some complications of lung cancer or you need a free case review, call our office at (800) 794-0444.