Some cases of lung cancer can be caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) that was used on many job sites between the 1930s and early 1980s. Those who develop asbestos lung cancer may be able to pursue financial compensation with our help.
What Is Asbestos Lung Cancer?
People may develop many types of illnesses if they’re exposed to asbestos, and one of them is lung cancer.
Asbestos-related lung cancer attacks the lungs, causing a chronic cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. It’s often deadly, even with treatment.
Sadly, many cases of asbestos lung cancer could have been prevented. The makers of asbestos-based products knew their goods were harmful to workers all the way back in the 1930s.
Despite this, they hid key health information about the risks of occupational asbestos exposure. They let people get sick in the name of profit.
Thankfully, you may be able to pursue financial aid for asbestos lung cancer right now. See if you qualify for asbestos compensation with help from our team.
Asbestos Lung Cancer vs. Mesothelioma
Asbestos lung cancer is not the same as malignant mesothelioma. Asbestos lung cancer attacks the lungs directly while mesothelioma actually affects the linings of major organs.
Mesothelioma tumors usually develop in the pleura (lung lining). However, mesothelioma can also form in the peritoneum (abdominal lining), pericardium (heart lining), and tunica vaginalis (testicle lining).
Malignant mesothelioma is extremely rare (with only 3,000 cases diagnosed each year) and is only caused by asbestos exposure. Lung cancer is much more common and has many other causes besides asbestos.
How Asbestos Causes Lung Cancer
When someone works with asbestos products, microscopic fibers may be released into the air. If inhaled, the asbestos fibers enter the lungs and can remain trapped there forever.
Over time, the fibers can damage healthy lung tissue and eventually cause cancer tumors to form.
Asbestos-related cancers and diseases have a long latency period. This means it usually takes decades before asbestos lung cancer or other diseases appear.
Asbestos Job Sites & Lung Cancer Risk Factors
Anyone who has come into contact with asbestos could develop lung cancer later in life. That said, those who worked around asbestos on a regular basis are at an increased risk.
Sadly, asbestos-based products were used in many industries for decades. Asbestos could easily be found on many work sites between the 1930s and early 1980s.
The following job sites often used asbestos:
- Construction areas
- Power plants
“The people with the heaviest exposure are those who worked in asbestos industries, such as shipbuilding and insulation. Many of these people recall working in thick clouds of asbestos dust, day after day.”
– The American Cancer Society (ACS)
Asbestos-related lung cancer can be just as devastating as mesothelioma. Just ask the Florida man who developed lung cancer after working around asbestos at a chemical company for over 30 years. He and his family members were able to get nearly $350,000 in compensation with legal help.
Does Smoking Increase the Risk of Asbestos Lung Cancer?
Yes. You’re at a greater risk of asbestos lung cancer if you smoke and have a history of asbestos exposure, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
“Exposure to asbestos increases your risk of developing lung disease. That risk is made worse by smoking. In general, the greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the chance of developing harmful health effects.”
– Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Cigarette smoke weakens the lungs’ ability to remove particles like asbestos. Further, smoke allows microscopic asbestos fibers to bind more easily onto cells in the lungs.
You have a lower risk of lung cancer if:
- You’re a smoker with no asbestos exposure
- You were exposed to asbestos but don’t smoke
- You quit smoking (your risk goes down, even if you were exposed to asbestos)
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) advises you not to start smoking if you were ever exposed to asbestos.
Signs & Symptoms of Asbestos Lung Cancer
The symptoms of asbestos lung cancer are usually mild at first and may not be noticed until the cancer has spread.
Symptoms of lung cancer include:
- A cough
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss (even if your diet hasn’t changed)
Some patients may also suffer from other asbestos-related diseases before they develop lung cancer. These include pleural plaques (buildups of a chalky protein in the lung) and asbestosis (a noncancerous lung disease).
Pleural plaques have no known symptoms and are thought to be harmless.
Asbestosis patients may hear a crackling noise when they breathe, and their fingertips may become ‘clubbed’ (wide and boxy). Those with asbestosis may also have many of the same symptoms as lung cancer patients.
Call our team at (866) 563-0742 if you may have symptoms of asbestos lung cancer. We can recommend medical options and see if you can pursue financial aid.
Diagnosing Asbestos Lung Cancer
Doctors diagnose asbestos lung cancer using a series of tests.
First, they’ll typically ask about your medical history and overall health. Be sure to note if you’re a smoker (or used to smoke), if other loved ones had lung cancer, and if you worked around asbestos-based products.
From there, your doctor will probably want to look inside your lungs with imaging scans. They can see possibly cancerous tumors or growths — as well as signs of asbestos exposure — on these scans.
Imaging scans used to diagnose lung cancer include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans
If lung cancer has not been ruled out by this stage, your doctor may order a biopsy. Through a biopsy, a sample of fluid or tissue is taken from your lungs and studied under a microscope. Doctors can then see if cancerous cells are present or not.
How Will Doctors Know Asbestos Caused Lung Cancer?
Doctors can look for signs of asbestos exposure while making a diagnosis. For example, they may see pleural plaques on an X-ray of your lungs.
Doctors may also want to know if you ever worked with or around asbestos. If so, they’ll want to know for how long.
Some studies suggest that you need to have asbestosis in order to confirm that your lung cancer was related to asbestos exposure.
However, more research is needed on this as other patients have developed asbestos lung cancer without suffering from asbestosis.
Asbestos Lung Cancer Prognosis
Doctors can give you a prognosis (the expected course a disease will take) once you’ve been diagnosed.
The prognosis of asbestos lung cancer can vary depending on how far it had spread before you were diagnosed. This is why it’s key to speak with our team to find doctors who can properly diagnose you. Call (866) 563-0742 right now.
Prognosis is measured by life expectancy (the average span of time that patients live for after diagnosis) and survival rate (how many patients are still alive after certain spans of time).
- Asbestos lung cancer patients have an average life expectancy of 17.4 months, according to a study from the medical journal Cancer Science.
- The 1-year survival rate for asbestos lung cancer patients is 57%. The average 5-year survival rate is 25%.
Remember that an asbestos lung cancer prognosis can change with treatments. Some patients have gone on to live for months or years despite a poor prognosis at first.
Types of Asbestos Lung Cancer
There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Doctors can see which type you have at the time of diagnosis.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
This is the most common form of lung cancer, and it has many subtypes like adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Different subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer made up roughly 84% of asbestos lung cancer cases, according to a study published by Molecular and Clinical Oncology.
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Small cell lung cancer is much rarer than non-small cell cases. This type accounted for roughly 5% percent of asbestos lung cancer cases in the Molecular and Clinical Oncology study mentioned above.
Small cell lung cancer is also more aggressive than non-small cell lung cancer, according to the ACS. While it responds well to treatment, it often comes back.
Asbestos Lung Cancer Treatment Options
Doctors can treat asbestos lung cancer with a few different options. Which treatments will work best for you depend on how far the cancer has spread at the time of your diagnosis, your overall health, and other factors.
Asbestos lung cancer treatment options include:
- Chemotherapy: Cancer-killing drugs are used to destroy tumors. The ACS notes that small cell lung cancer often responds well to chemotherapy.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy allows the body’s immune system to fight cancer more effectively.
- Radiation: Doctors use high-energy waves to shrink or dissolve tumors. Like chemotherapy, radiation therapy is often used to treat small cell lung cancer.
- Surgery: Doctors remove as much of the cancer as possible during surgery. Part or all of the lung may need to be removed.
- Targeted therapy: With this treatment, medications search for cancer cells in the body and destroy them. This treatment is currently only used in some cases of non-small cell lung cancer.
In some cases, you may also be able to access new treatments through clinical trials. These trials test upcoming therapies to help patients live longer. A doctor can tell you more about clinical trials that you may qualify for.
Compensation for Asbestos Lung Cancer
If you’ve been diagnosed with asbestos lung cancer, you may qualify for financial compensation. Makers of asbestos-based products sold their materials to the U.S. military and countless job sites without noting the health risks.
You may be able to get financial payouts from these asbestos companies since they did nothing to protect you and lied about the safety of their products. Learn how below.
Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawyers
In order to pursue compensation, you’ll need to work with experienced asbestos attorneys. Lawyers make the legal process much easier. They’ll handle most of the work that comes with filing a lawsuit and securing money.
Skilled asbestos lung cancer lawyers can help:
- Pinpoint when, where, and how you were exposed to asbestos
- See which companies made the asbestos-containing products you were exposed to
- Gather the evidence to build your case
- File your asbestos lung cancer claim
- Negotiate to get the most amount of money possible
- Argue your case in court if it doesn’t settle ahead of time
Lawyers will not sue the military. Legal claims are filed against the makers of asbestos-based products.
Lung Cancer Lawsuits
Asbestos lung cancer lawsuits may help you get justice and compensation from the greedy companies that harmed you.
Through a lawsuit, your asbestos attorney will explain:
- How these companies are responsible for your lung cancer
- How much money you’ll need to cover medical expenses and other bills
- Why the companies in question must pay for what they’ve done
However, laws called statutes of limitations prevent you from filing a lawsuit if too much time has passed. Don’t miss your chance to file: Call (866) 563-0742 right now.
Asbestos Lung Cancer Settlements
Most asbestos lung cancer lawsuits end through a settlement. An asbestos lung cancer settlement occurs when the companies that harmed you agree to pay a lump sum.
Asbestos lung cancer settlements may award you with a lot of money — often hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
Asbestos Lung Cancer Verdicts
If your lawsuit does not reach a settlement, it may need to go to trial before a judge and/or jury. Trials are typically avoided as they add more time to the case and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get more money than if you settled.
That said, your asbestos lawyers can make sure your lawsuit is as strong as possible if a trial does occur.
Get Help After an Asbestos Lung Cancer Diagnosis
Nobody ever deserved to develop asbestos lung cancer from simply doing their job. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened. Everyday people like you were exposed to a cancer-causing substance on job sites throughout the country or secondhand.
Thankfully, you can get high-quality medical care from lung cancer specialists across the country.
Further, filing a legal claim with the help of an asbestos lawyer can allow you to afford health care costs and other expenses. Legal action also allows you to hold makers of asbestos-based products accountable for getting you sick.
Ready to take the next step? See if you qualify for asbestos compensation. Our experienced team of nurses, U.S. veterans, and attorneys is standing by to help you.
Asbestos Lung Cancer FAQs
What is the difference between asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma?
There are many differences between asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma. While lung cancer affects the lungs themselves, mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs or other organs.
Both asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma can be deadly, though. See a doctor immediately if you think you have cancer.
Will everyone exposed to asbestos get lung cancer?
No. You can develop any number of illnesses if you’ve been exposed to asbestos. These include other types of cancers like mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and kidney cancer.
You could also develop noncancerous diseases like asbestosis and pleural plaques. Or, you may not get sick at all.
Scientists are still studying the health effects of asbestos to learn why some people get sick and some don’t.
Research has shown that those who are exposed to asbestos often (for example, while at a job site) are more likely to get sick.
How much are asbestos lung cancer claims worth?
The value of an asbestos lung cancer claim depends on unique factors in each case. Some claims have been worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Want to learn how much your claim might be worth? Our team can help you get started. See if you qualify for compensation right now.
Can I file a class-action lawsuit for asbestos lung cancer?
It’s more likely that you’ll be able to file a personal injury lawsuit rather than a class-action lawsuit. Class-actions are rarely filed today since asbestos-related lawsuits are very complex and each person’s case is unique.
Filing a personal asbestos lung cancer lawsuit is usually your best option. Our team can find the best legal options in your case: Call (866) 563-0742 now.