Both mesothelioma and lung cancer can occur because of asbestos exposure, and both can cause serious impairment and lung failure. The symptoms of the two conditions are often similar, including:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
Both types of cancer can be aggressive, and both have a poor prognosis when diagnosed after the cancer spreads. However, the difference between lung cancer and mesothelioma is that they affect different types of tissues. Mesothelioma occurs in the mesothelium, a thin membrane that lines many organs and organ systems. Lung cancer begins within the lung itself.
Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Symptoms and Diagnosis
Lung cancer and mesothelioma can cause the same symptoms and have many of the same complications. At the same time, both generally exhibit only minor symptoms until they spread extensively. This means that many people do not receive a diagnosis until their cancer is terminal.
To determine if you have one of these conditions, your doctor will order a chest X-ray or CT scans to get a better look at the tumors. A biopsy of the tissue may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis. When the cancer has already spread throughout the chest cavity, this may be the only way to learn the type of cancer you have.
Cigarettes and Asbestos-Related Cancers
Asbestos-related lung cancers and mesothelioma also both occur because of asbestos exposure. However, the risk differs. Those who have a history of asbestos exposure and who also smoke tobacco products, or have a history of smoking, have the highest risk of lung cancer. Their risk is much higher than the risks associated with each of these individual factors alone. Smoking does not seem to have any effect on the development of mesothelioma.
Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Require Different Treatments but Often Have Similar Outcomes
Although there are differences between asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma, both can be aggressive and deadly forms of cancer if not caught early enough. Since neither produces symptoms until it spreads, treatment for most people is not considered curative.
Because of how mesothelioma spreads, it is difficult or impossible to remove them all with surgery, even when they are still local. This cancer relies heavily on chemotherapy to attempt to shrink the tumor and for palliative care. Reducing symptoms and offering a better quality of life for their final months is often the goal of mesothelioma treatment.
Lung cancers are more easily removed, but they often spread to other areas before they are discovered. This leaves radiation therapy and chemotherapy as the best treatments to help manage the spread of this type of cancer, as well.
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Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
Both mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancers may be able to support an award or settlement from an asbestos trust fund. The asbestos trust funds are the result of so many asbestos companies filing for bankruptcy as a result of the asbestos lawsuits.
The bankruptcy courts required asbestos companies to establish trust funds so injured claimants could continue to collect awards despite the demise of the company itself. If you have a documentable history of asbestos exposure and an asbestos-related medical condition, you should not have to pay for your treatment or other expenses. The company that benefited from making asbestos products should cover the cost of your case, not you.
You may be able to file a claim or a lawsuit to recover some or all of your damages, including:
- Medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses
An asbestos mass tort lawyer can help you understand how to build a strong case and navigate the claims process.
Talk to an Asbestos Cancer Lawyer About Your Eligibility
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm offers free case reviews to people with lung cancer or mesothelioma and a history of asbestos exposure. We do not shy away from tough cases and may be able to help you prove the link between your exposure and your medical condition, even if you are not sure where to start.
Let a member of our team look into the facts of your case today. Our complimentary consultations include discussing the possibility of a claim or lawsuit with an asbestos cancer attorney. If we decide to work together following your free initial consultation, you will pay nothing out of pocket. We take our attorney’s fees from your settlement or award.
Call (800) 794-0444 today to talk to a member of our asbestos mass tort team about your case. We will evaluate your case for free and explain your legal options.