Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, claiming more lives each year than breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancers combined. According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is responsible for about a quarter of all cancer-related deaths.
As many assume, the smoke from tobacco —both direct and secondhand—is the major cause of lung cancers. However, lung cancer has shown an increase in occurrence among non-smokers. Exposure to asbestos and radon are the chief culprits for this–whether you were a smoker or not.
Often, the first signs of lung cancer do not show up until decades after exposure. It can take years for lung cancer to develop from exposure to radon, asbestos, or other dangerous chemicals such as nickel, chromium, or arsenic.
Lung Cancer Basics
Lung cancer is a serious illness. Several factors impact lung cancer’s curability. The specific cause of your cancer may qualify you for financial damages.
It is essential to know the symptoms of lung cancer so that you can seek treatment as soon as potential signs of trouble arise. The sooner you seek medical care, the better your odds are of treating lung cancer during a more curable stage.
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. If you have lung cancer and suffered exposure to a dangerous substance, you may be able to recover financial compensation.
The Types of Lung Cancer
There are three general types of lung cancer:
- Non-small cell lung cancer: By far the most common type of lung cancer. This is an umbrella term for many different types of lung cancer that behave similarly.
- Lung carcinoid tumor(s): Extremely rare, this category is sometimes referred to as “lung neuroendocrine tumors.” These grow slowly and rarely spread.
- Small cell lung cancer: Also called “oat cell cancer,” this type accounts for about 10% to 15% of lung cancers and spreads rapidly. This type of lung cancer occurs almost exclusively in smokers.
Within these general categories, there are several more specific forms of lung cancer, and the causes of each may vary. While smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, it is not the only cause, and non-smokers can develop lung cancer as well
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The Stages of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is one of the more serious types of cancer. Lung cancer may be curable if it’s detected early. Doctors inform lung cancer patients that the likelihood of long-term survival is determined by what stage, from I to IV, the cancer is in, the patient’s overall health status, and the outcome of the first treatment.
The stages of lung cancer depend on whether it is small cell or non-small cell. There are four stages of non-small cell lung cancer. Each stage has its own characteristics:
- Stage I: Cancer is confined to the lung and has not spread any farther. Lymph nodes are not yet affected. It can typically be treated and removed with surgery.
- Stage II: Cancer is confined to the lungs and the lymph nodes within the lungs. Second-stage patients often undergo surgery combined with a chemotherapy regimen.
- Stage III: Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest, and patients may experience fluid in the lungs. There are two substages in stage III, A and B. In stage IIIA, the cancer is only in the lymph nodes on the side of the chest where the cancer originated.
In stage IIIB, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest. Treatments for Stage III vary, but often involve some combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, ideally done together.
- Stage IV: This is the most serious type, involving cancer that has spread outside the chest and into other organs, such as the liver, brain or bones. Treatment for Stage IV cancers are not considered curative; the goal at this point is to shrink the tumor and try to control the disease to buy as much time as possible for the patient.
Small cell lung cancer has two stages:
- Limited stage: In limited stage, the cancer is only in one lung or in lymph nodes on the same side of the chest.
- Extensive stage: In extensive stage, the cancer may be in one lung, the opposite lung, lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest, distant organs, bone marrow, or fluid surrounding the chest.
If you have experienced symptoms, seek medical attention. It is important to identify the potential causes of lung cancer, especially if you are a non-smoker
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Can Lung Cancer Be Cured?
Lung cancer is one of the most serious forms of cancer you can develop, but it is often curable. According to the American Lung Association, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer that is caught when the disease is still localized in the lungs is 56 percent. Yet only 16 percent of cases are caught at that early stage, which reinforces how important it is to seek treatment as soon as you suspect something may be wrong.
There are a few treatment options for those diagnosed with lung cancer. Treatment paths include:
- Targeted therapy
- Radiation therapy
Your doctor can discuss the best treatment route for you depending on the specifics of your cancer. Doctors may also be able to help you pinpoint the likely cause of your lung cancer.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a deadly gas that is invisible, tasteless, and odorless. Radon can cause lung cancer from exposure for any significant period. While most people assume that smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, they may not be aware of how many lives are lost to lung cancer from exposure to radon.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 21,000 people die each year from lung cancer caused by breathing radon. This statistic makes radon the second most fatal cause of lung cancer behind smoking.
Radon is a gas that results when uranium naturally breaks down in water, soil, or rock. Cancer-causing levels of radon may exist in living or working areas where toxic levels of the gas have gone undetected.
With this in mind, it is important to note that radon poisoning is a potential health threat to anyone. Since radon is an odorless gas, those who are unaware of the importance of radon testing could easily develop lung cancer without any indication that radon exposure is to blame.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you received a diagnosis of lung cancer and believe that radon may be a causal or contributing factor in your cancer’s onset, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
The circumstances of your case may indicate that someone else is responsible for your lung cancer, particularly if you are a non-smoker. Often building owners, managers, and employers fail to take the necessary steps to detect and eliminate radon and its sources. If this is the case for you, then you may have a clear path to obtaining compensation for your treatments and related expenses.
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How Long does Radon Stay in Your Body?
Breathing in small amounts of radon is considered harmless because radon molecules typically only stay in the body for a period of days and are breathed out without harm.
Among victims of radon poisoning—and for many of those victims, lung cancer is the result—radon stays in the body much longer because they are being exposed regularly. This constant exposure prevents radon particles from leaving the body, which can lead to serious health problems.
As your body begins to fight off the regular presence of radioactive radon particles, the fighting cells eventually transform themselves in a way that makes them susceptible to cancer. For this reason, breathing radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer.
Anyone who spends time in a radon-contaminated space could be at risk of developing lung cancer. How long radon stays in your body is a key factor.
The primary threat from radon exposure is lung cancer, and if you develop the symptoms of lung cancer, you should seek medical attention immediately.
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What Are the Signs of Radon Poisoning?
The signs of radon poisoning often emerge once you have developed serious lung disease, namely lung cancer. It is critical that you recognize the signs of radon-induced lung cancer as soon as they emerge.
Some potential signs of lung cancer include:
- Frequent infections such as bronchitis and/or pneumonia
- A persistent cough that does not go away after an extended period of time
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain and/or tightness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bone pain
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. If your doctor diagnosed you with radon-induced lung cancer, you should contact a lawyer who can help you determine the source of your poisoning and your legal options.
Testing for radon is not particularly difficult or expensive, but many fail to check for dangerous levels of radon either out of ignorance, laziness, or cheapness. These parties may be liable for endangering employees, residents, or civilians, and if their negligence leads to radon-induced lung cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
What Are the Chances of Getting Lung Cancer from Radon?
The odds of contracting lung cancer depend on your living and working arrangements, and how often those in charge conduct regular radon tests. Some people that may be at an elevated risk of radon-induced lung cancer include:
- Those who live in a garden-level apartment
- Those who work underground, especially those who harvest uranium
- Those who spend lots of time in basements
- Anyone who lives, works, or spends time in a building not regularly tested for radon levels
Truly, anyone can be at risk of unsafe radon exposure if building owners, property managers, and safety officials do not conduct radon tests regularly. The consequences of such exposure cannot be overstated. The chances of getting lung cancer from radon exposure are high, as it is a serious hazard.
Radon tests are put off or ignored out of ignorance or other motivations, leading unknowing victims to develop lung cancer. It can take anywhere from five to 25 years for radon poisoning to manifest as lung cancer, and it is important that you note and be aware of the symptoms of lung cancer if they arise.
If your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer, and you believe that radon exposure may be a cause, you may be entitled to financial compensation depending on the circumstances of your case.
Radon Exposure Causing Lung Cancer
A brief history to understand the danger of radon exposure:
- In the 1950s, scientists found that underground workers mining for uranium were dying from lung cancer at extremely high rates.
- By the 1980s, it was clear the risk was also present in homes.
- In 2009, the World Health Organization officially stated that radon is a global health risk and released a handbook on indoor radon, which can be found at the bottom of this page. Experts assert that most cases of radon-induced lung cancers are caused by low-to-medium dose exposures.
There are ways to test radon levels, and those who fail to ensure that a space—whether it is a school, home, or working environment—is free from unsafe levels of radon may be held liable for those who develop lung cancer.
Many wrongly assume that radon exposure is symptomless because its symptoms don’t seem severe until cancer develops. Lung cancer caused by radon exposure has several symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain and/or tightness in the chest area
- A new or worsening cough
Those diagnosed with lung cancer despite not smoking for any significant period of time, or ever, may likely be a victim of radon or other chemical exposure. Most hardware stores sell radon detection kits, but more extensive testing may be necessary if you plan to take legal action against a liable party who failed to protect you from radioactive radon gas.
When looking for representation, you want a lawyer who will assist you in conducting all necessary tests to find out if you have lung cancer caused by radon exposure. He or she should handle your case from start to finish and speak with medical professionals and experts in the field.
What Types of Lung Cancer Are Caused by Radon?
Breathing radon gas is linked to the development of lung cancer. There are three general types of lung cancer to which breathing radon may be linked. They are:
- Small cell lung cancer
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Lung carcinoid tumor
Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, and it includes a number of more specific cancer types. Small cell cancer is a term that encapsulates ten to fifteen percent of lung cancers and is more commonly associated with smoking. Lung carcinoid tumors are the rarest.
Though breathing radon could cause any of these lung cancers, non-small cell lung cancer is the most likely. It is important to know what radon is, and how it could lead to lung cancer in order to avoid developing radon-induced lung cancer and act appropriately if you do develop one of these types of cancer.
Certain geographic regions are more susceptible to high levels of radon, and you should check your geographic region’s susceptibility to radon if you are diagnosed with lung cancer, especially if you are a non-smoker.
Because radon is an odorless, colorless gas, it can easily go undetected as it does serious damage to your lungs. Therefore, it is critically important to conduct radon testing at regular intervals and pay attention to any signs that you may have developed radon-induced lung cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer and believe that breathing radon could be a cause, we can help. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your case.
How Long does Radon Exposure Take to Cause Cancer?
Radon can be impossible to detect without the right instruments, and if exposed to it for too long, then you are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer. How long radon exposure takes to cause cancer can vary. The consensus is that those exposed to carcinogenic levels of radon may develop lung cancer in as little as five years. However, it happens generally between 15 and 25 years after exposure.
Lung cancer develops from radon because it converts the cells in the lungs that are susceptible to cancer, and then spreads. It is important that you know the potential signs of lung cancer and, if radon exposure causes the cancer, find the source of the radon gas.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, and especially if you are experiencing more than one of them, seek medical attention. If a doctor determines that radon exposure is a potential cause of your lung cancer, then you may be entitled to financial compensation depending on the circumstances under which you were exposed.
Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer and claims approximately 21,000 lives each year. If your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer, particularly if you are a non-smoker, and you believe that radon exposure may be the cause, we can help you investigate and plan a legal strategy for pursuing compensation.
In radon exposure claims, it may be the case that someone responsible for some aspect of your safety — a landlord, employer, business owner, etc. — failed to ensure that you were not exposed to unsafe levels of radon. A lawyer can help you identify this liable party if they exist and initiate your legal case.
Do not wait, call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your case.
What Is the Average Settlement for Lung Cancer Caused by Radon Exposure?
There are no reliable statistics on the average settlement in cases where radon exposure resulted in lung cancer because every case is unique. However, someone responsible for providing a safe work, home, or other environment may be liable if they fail to protect people from unsafe levels of radon.
Even those in jail or prison may have protection from being exposed to dangerous levels of radon. Guards and inmates who spent substantial amounts of time at the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, CT, launched a joint lawsuit in 2018 after investigations revealed the facility contained unsafe levels of radon for years.
In another case in 2008, 152 residents who lived in homes built by Richmond American Homes in West Virginia sued the company, alleging that the builder failed to install functioning radon-removal devices, exposing residents to an increased risk of radon poisoning as a result. The Supreme Court eventually ruled in the residents’ favor.
These are just a couple of cases illustrating how negligence relating to radon detection and removal can result in litigation. It is no wonder, as radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking.
If you are experiencing symptoms, seek medical attention. If your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer and radon exposure is a suspected cause, you could be entitled to financial compensation. A lung cancer attorney may be able to help.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a heat and corrosion-resistant mineral that has been linked to health conditions including lung cancer, but despite the link, it is still used today. Asbestos may be used as an insulating material, and many people who spent large amounts of time in buildings constructed with asbestos are not aware of its presence.
There has been a move away from asbestos-containing materials since 1973, when the EPA passed the Clean Air Act. That Act banned the use of asbestos in most of its sprayable forms, but stopped short of banning the mineral completely.
The danger in asbestos comes primarily from breathing dust or fibers containing asbestos, most of which are not visible to the naked eye. This means that several groups may be at an elevated risk of asbestos-induced lung disease, including:
- Demolition teams
- Auto industry workers
- Navy veterans
- Shipyard workers
- Construction workers
- Asbestos miners
- Asbestos plant workers
Though these groups are at an obvious risk of ingesting and/or breathing asbestos-laden fibers and dust, anybody who spends substantial time in a building where asbestos fibers have begun to fray may be at risk. Some of the dangerous health conditions associated with breathing or ingesting asbestos are:
- Mesothelioma, a condition for which asbestos is the only known cause
- Lung cancer
While the human body is capable of fighting the effects of a small amount of asbestos, significant asbestos particles can end up scarring the lungs and changing cells in a way that makes them susceptible to cancer.
Most people do not realize just how prevalent asbestos is today despite well-established links to lung cancer and other health conditions. The United States has imported more than 6,000 tons of asbestos since 2011. Asbestos is used in many materials where insulation and resistance to corrosion and heat are important. Some material where asbestos may be present include:
- Attic and wall insulation
- Vinyl flooring or other vinyl materials
- Pipe insulation
- Heat-resistant fabrics
- Insulation around furnaces
These are just some of the more common locations where asbestos may be found, but the cancer-causing mineral is also present throughout schools, places of work, and homes still today, unbeknownst to most of those who occupy such buildings.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer or another lung disease and believe that asbestos exposure may be a cause, you could be entitled to financial awards. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your case.
What Are the First Signs of Asbestos Poisoning?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs naturally in rock and soil and is used in many building materials because of its resistance to heat and corrosion. However, asbestos has also been directly linked to several potentially fatal lung conditions, including lung cancer.
Unfortunately, many victims of asbestos poisoning are not aware of their condition until it progresses to the stage of lung cancer. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms, seek medical attention. If you have lung cancer potentially caused by asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to financial compensation if the liable party did not properly inform you of the risk of asbestos exposure.
You may not understand how the exposure to asbestos occurred, but it is our job to investigate. You may also be unaware that there is no ban on using asbestos in the United States. Because of its flame- and corrosion-retardant properties, asbestos may be present in various places in a structure where you have lived or worked, including:
- Insulation in walls and/or attics
- Insulation around pipes
- Insulation around furnaces and other heated devices
- Vinyl flooring
- Certain types of roofing and/or shingles
- Heat-resistant fabrics
Though the link to lung disease is well-established and legislation such as the EPA’s Clean Air Act of 1973 have limited the use of certain forms of asbestos, there is no widespread ban on the fibrous mineral. Some groups may be at an increased risk of breathing asbestos dust or particles, which emerge when handling the asbestos, especially when broken apart.
Anyone who spends time in a building containing asbestos that was improperly installed may be at risk of developing lung cancer.
Lung Cancer Caused by Asbestos Exposure
The Clean Air Act of 1973 outlawed asbestos as a building material, but it did not eliminate all asbestos-containing materials. You may risk developing certain lung diseases from exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is the only known cause of a very specific type of cancer known as mesothelioma, which often affects the lungs.
You can learn more about mesothelioma cancer and exposure to asbestos, a white fiber-like material throughout our website. Our seasoned mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are more than prepared to handle mesothelioma and asbestos-related injury cases.
Although smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer, asbestos is also one of the top causes of lung cancer today, despite being outlawed as a material in construction and other fields. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 45,000 people died from mesothelioma.
There are numerous types of lung disease, including cancers, that can develop due to breathing asbestos particles. These include:
- Lung cancer due to exposure to asbestos
- Mesothelioma, a specific type of lung cancer for which the only known cause is asbestos
If your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer, including mesothelioma, and especially if you are a non-smoker, you may want to consider exposure to asbestos as a potential cause. Certain subsets of the population may have a heightened risk of developing asbestos-induced lung cancer. These groups include:
- Demolition crews
- Factory workers
- Construction workers
- Shipyard workers
- Navy veterans
- Auto industry workers
- Asbestos plant workers
Often, people are exposed to asbestos without their knowledge. In these instances, you may be eligible to collect damages from the responsible party if your exposure to asbestos resulted in illness, lung cancer included.
Asbestos-induced lung cancer can be very serious, as lung cancer is one of the cancers with lower-than-average survival rates. There are a few signs and symptoms of asbestos-induced lung cancer that you should be aware of, especially if you fall within a group that has an elevated risk of asbestos exposure.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention. If your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer, and you believe exposure to asbestos may be a cause, then you may be entitled to financial compensation.
How Long does It Take to Get Lung Cancer from Asbestos?
Asbestos is a material often used in construction. If inhaled or ingested in significant amounts, asbestos can cause certain lung ailments including lung cancer. Asbestos has a long history of causing cancer. While the use of asbestos is partially restricted, the United States has yet to ban it entirely.
The National Cancer Institute reports that it can take between 10 and 40 years (or even longer) for symptoms of asbestos-related diseases to appear. This extended time period does not make asbestos less dangerous. This can actually make it deadlier, as people often only show symptoms when the disease has progressed.
The primary lung conditions associated with asbestos exposure are:
- Lung cancer
- Mesothelioma, for which the only known cause is asbestos
If you regularly interacted with asbestos and have lung cancer, you may be entitled to financial damages. If you are not in one of these groups, you could still be at risk for asbestos poisoning leading to lung cancer. Your exposure increases if you live, work, or spend significant time in a structure that contains old or improperly installed asbestos.
Many victims of asbestos poisoning do not realize they have suffered toxic exposure until a more serious condition such as lung cancer arises. Keep an eye out for symptoms of lung cancer and seek immediate medical attention if any of the signs arise.
What Is the Average Settlement for Lung Cancer Caused by Asbestos Exposure?
Each case of asbestos exposure that leads to lung cancer is unique, and the awards will depend directly on the specifics of your case.
If we can prove that exposure to asbestos may have caused or contributed to your lung cancer, then you have the right to pursue compensation.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that occurs naturally in rock and soil. It is resistant to heat and corrosion and has been a material of choice for homes and other physical structures for decades. However, evidence from as far back as the 1930s shows asbestos miners contracting lung cancer at an abnormal rate, and legislation such as the Clean Air Act of 1970 limited the use of asbestos in certain forms.
However, asbestos is still not banned in the United States, and an estimated 30 million homes (and countless other physical structures) may contain asbestos. Some places you may find asbestos-containing materials include:
- Insulation around pipes, in attics and walls, and in areas around heat-emitting devices
- Vinyl flooring or other vinyl materials
- Heat-resistant fabrics
- Certain types of shingles and roofing
Asbestos can be safe if installed properly and if it is fairly new. However, breathing the fibers and dust that come from fraying asbestos particles is dangerous and can eventually lead to lung cancer.
Anyone who lives, works, or spends significant time in a structure containing asbestos could be at risk of developing a serious lung condition, namely lung cancer. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of lung cancer and consider that asbestos exposure may be the cause, seek medical treatment.
Lung Cancer Lawyer Q&A
Is My Landlord Liable for My Damages if I Get Lung Cancer Due to Asbestos in My Home?
If you are renting a house and get lung cancer due to asbestos, your landlord may be liable. You would have to be living there for many years, however. Then, whoever installed it, may be liable for your injury. Our firm has not seen a lawsuit against a landlord. However, it is theoretically possible. We would have to prove that there was asbestos in the home and how long did you lived there, but such a case would not be out of the question.
Lung Cancer Lawyer Case Results
$886,000 to the family of an Illinois man diagnosed with asbestos lung cancer. Our client was a pipe cover insulation engineer for ten years and a former smoker.
$720,000 to an Illinois man diagnosed with lung cancer. Our client worked in construction his entire life and, in his younger years, worked as a boiler cleaner. He wore asbestos mittens to clean the boilers. Although he smoked for many years, he quit nearly four years before his diagnosis.
$2.5 million for a man who worked for 30 years as a pipefitter. He was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 74. Our client remembered removing asbestos insulation from pipes while working in downtown Chicago.
$1.9 million to an Indiana man diagnosed with lung cancer. Our client spent the majority of his life working in steel mills in Gary and East Chicago, Indiana.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for Help With Your Case
If you or a loved one developed lung cancer as a result of radon or asbestos exposure, speak with a lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm about your case. Call (800) 614-1485.