Most people who develop lung cancer currently smoke, smoked in the past, or had heavy exposure to second-hand smoke, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Men who smoke long-term are significantly more likely to die from lung cancer than nonsmokers.
At the same time, clear links between asbestos exposure and all types of lung cancer occur in research. Studies show that between 4% and 12% of all lung cancers occur because of exposure to this dangerous material, which often happens at work.
You may wonder whether asbestos or smoking is worse for your health.
Both asbestos exposure and smoking put you at significant risk of lung cancer and other pulmonary issues. A combination of the two, however, creates the most dangerous scenario.
Smoking Combined With Asbestos Exposure Is Particularly Dangerous
While many people recognize the dangers of smoking and the dangers of asbestos exposure separately, most do not realize the combination of smoking and asbestos increases the chances of lung cancer or other pulmonary conditions more than either instance on its own.
Unfortunately, many of the industries where a worker might sustain asbestos exposure also comprise industries with a high percentage of smokers. Those who worked in industries where asbestos was common until the 1970s and 1980s—construction, shipbuilding and repair, mining, and more—should know that smoking could raise their risk of developing cancer to a level higher than the individual risks from their exposure and their smoking combined.
Risks of Other Respiratory Concerns
Smoking may also increase your risk of many other types of asbestos-related pulmonary issues and respiratory concerns. At the same time, no evidence exists to show smoking increases your risk of developing mesothelioma. This type of cancer affects the lining of the lungs and the chest cavity and almost always occurs due to asbestos exposure.
Quitting Smoking After a History of Asbestos Exposure
As of 2005, lung cancer accounted for almost a third of all cancer deaths in the United States each year. Preventing this type of cancer, or diagnosing it as early as possible, reduces the number of people who die from cancer each year.
Quitting smoking as soon as possible plays a key role in reducing the risk of getting cancer if you have a known exposure to asbestos at any time or worked in an industry with possible exposure, according to the National Cancer Institute. Smoking and asbestos is a dangerous combination.
Discuss your history with your doctor and let them help you put a cessation plan in place. In some cases, they may want to conduct annual screenings using medical imaging and pulmonary function tests. These tests may allow them to identify and diagnose lung cancer at its earliest stages instead of waiting for it to spread and become symptomatic.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
You May Be Eligible for Compensation Based on Your Asbestos-Related Illness
If you develop lung cancer or another significant medical condition related to known asbestos exposure, you may be eligible to join the asbestos mass tort and pursue an award or settlement.
If you suffer a serious medical condition due to the asbestos fibers you inhaled, the asbestos company should pay for your treatment and care, not you. Even if the at-fault company filed for bankruptcy 30+ years ago, there are trust funds in place that may pay for the losses suffered by claimants like you. Some of these trust funds continue to pay out all of a claimant’s losses, while others only pay partial awards to ensure funds for future claimants.
Let an Asbestos Exposure Attorney Help With Your Case
You have a right to seek assistance from an asbestos lung cancer attorney about your case. The team from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can review your case and help you understand its potential. If we believe you can recover a payout based on your history of exposure and diagnosis, we may be able to take action on your behalf.
With our team on your case, you will not need to pay anything out of pocket or anything upfront. We only receive attorney’s fees when we recover financial awards for you.
You have the option to avoid the stress of handling your case alone. Call our asbestos mass tort team today at (800) 794-0444. We look forward to working with you on your complimentary case evaluation and consultation.