To effectively diagnose lung cancer, a doctor will rely on the results of imaging scans (such as x-rays or CT scans), biopsies of lung tissue, and blood work. These tests will look for lesions or nodules in your lungs that may be an indicator of cancer. Additionally, your doctor may perform a sputum cytology, which will test the contents of your phlegm for traces of cancer cells.
The results of these tests done for lung cancer will allow your doctor to present you with an accurate diagnosis and determine an effective course of treatment.
The Signs of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is an especially dangerous disease because of its low five-year survival rate and how quickly it can spread to other parts of the body. It is a common misconception that only smokers can develop lung cancer. While smoking remains the leading cause, lung cancer can be the result of breathing in other harmful chemicals.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, only 8% of lung cancer diagnoses are the result of genetic disposition. What stage the lung cancer is caught in will determine the effectiveness of treatment. Patients with stage 1 lung cancer are more likely to see their cancer go into remission than those in stage 4. This is why it is important to be aware of the early signs of lung cancer.
These signs and symptoms include:
- Chest pain.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Continous cough.
- Persistent headaches.
- Shortness of breath.
- Bone pain.
- Coughing up blood.
These symptoms can often reflect those of less serious illnesses, such as an upper respiratory infection or the common cold. It is important to let your doctor know of any risks that have put you in danger of developing lung cancer.
Consider the Likely Cause of Your Condition
Two of the most common causes of lung cancer in non-smokers are exposure to radon gas and asbestos. These naturally occurring substances are known to cause abnormal cell growth in lung tissue and can take years to develop into malignant tumors.
You May Not Realize That You Have Breathed Radon Gas in Unsafe Quantities
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that inhaling radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Exposure to radon can take 15 to 25 years to manifest as lung cancer. Radon gas tends to build up in spaces that lack ventilation, such as a basement or another well-sealed, windowless space. These types of areas are breeding grounds for the conditions that cause lung cancer. Additionally, the EPA reports that radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year.
Asbestos Fibers Are Highly Carcinogenic
Asbestos was a common material used in constructing commercial buildings and homes throughout the 20th century. However, when inhaled, these fiber-like bundles can lodge deep into lung tissue, causing irritation and scarring.
Breathing asbestos fibers is known to cause serious conditions including:
- Mesothelioma, a form of cancer for which the only known cause is breathing in asbestos.
- Cancer of the ovaries, bladder, stomach, colon, and rectum.
Building materials containing asbestos are largely being discontinued in the U.S. However, it can take decades for illnesses related to asbestos exposure to surface.
If you worked in the demolition, construction, shipyard, or mining industry, there is a chance you inhaled asbestos. If you have a history working in any of these fields, talk to your doctor about monitoring your health condition. Yearly scans and examinations are life-saving precautions when it comes to detecting the early development of lung cancer.
A Lawyer Can Handle Your Chemical Exposure Case
If you have developed a serious health condition as a result of being exposed to deadly chemicals, you have the right to seek compensation to cover the cost of your medical expenses. A lawyer can guide you on how to pursue financial awards by:
- Helping you identify the most likely time of your exposure, and who may hold responsibility.
- Starting legal action to set your claim in motion.
- Collecting any evidence of wrongdoing in your situation.
- Completing all legal steps necessary for your case to reach a judgment or settlement.
- Protecting your rights throughout the legal process.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our team wants to help you recover the cost of your losses if you were diagnosed with lung cancer. We understand that this life-changing diagnosis will affect how you live from day to day. We want to make this as easy as possible for you and your family. Our team works on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning that we do not collect a fee unless we secure compensation for you. We do not shy away from even the toughest cases. If you would like a free case evaluation, call (800) 794-0444 today.