Lung Cancer and Asbestos: The Little-Known Connection

Posted on‍

May 16, 2024


Daniel Braverman

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with smoking being the most well-known risk factor. But many people are unaware of the connection between lung cancer and asbestos exposure. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in various industries for its heat-resistant and insulating properties, can cause serious health problems when inhaled, including lung cancer. Let’s take a look at the types of lung cancer, the link between asbestos and lung cancer, and the importance of seeking help from lung cancer lawyers if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer.

Types of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs and can spread to other parts of the body. There are two main types of lung cancer:

  1. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): This is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for about 85% of all cases. NSCLC includes subtypes such as adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
  2. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC): This type of lung cancer is less common, accounting for about 10-15% of all cases. SCLC tends to grow and spread more quickly than NSCLC.

Lung cancer lawyers specialize in helping individuals who have developed lung cancer due to asbestos exposure seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Asbestos as a Cause of Lung Cancer

While smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, exposure to asbestos can also significantly increase the risk of developing the disease. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lungs and cause inflammation and scarring over time. This damage can lead to the development of lung cancer, often many years after the initial exposure. However, even if you smoked, you can still file a claim for compensation if you have been diagnosed with lung cancer after exposure to asbestos.

According to an article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the dangers of developing lung cancer from cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure are dramatically amplified when the two are combined. For instance, the study states:

  • Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of lung cancer by 10-fold
  • Asbestos exposure increases the risk of lung cancer by 5-fold
  • The two together increase the risk of lung cancer by 50-fold

Studies have shown that individuals exposed to asbestos have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than the general population. Moreover, smokers who have also been exposed to asbestos have an even greater risk of developing lung cancer, as the two factors can have a synergistic effect.

Lung cancer lawyers can help individuals who have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace or through other means seek justice and compensation for their illness.

Differences Between Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma

While both lung cancer and mesothelioma can be caused by asbestos exposure, there are some key differences between the two diseases:

  1. Location: Lung cancer develops in the lung tissue itself, while mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs, chest wall, or abdomen.
  2. Latency period: Asbestos-related lung cancer typically develops 15-35 years after exposure, while mesothelioma can take 20-50 years or more to develop.
  3. Treatment options: Treatment for lung cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these methods. Treatment for mesothelioma may also include these options, as well as targeted therapies and immunotherapy.

Lung cancer lawyers who have experience with asbestos-related cases can help clients understand the differences between these diseases and pursue the appropriate legal action.

Occupations and Industries with High Risk of Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

Certain occupations and industries have a higher risk of asbestos exposure, putting workers at an increased risk of developing asbestos-related lung cancer. Some of these high-risk occupations and industries include:

  1. Construction workers: Many construction materials, such as insulation, flooring, and roofing, contained asbestos before the 1980s.
  2. Industrial workers: Workers in factories, power plants, and other industrial settings may have been exposed to asbestos in machinery, protective gear, and insulation.
  3. Shipyard workers: Asbestos was widely used in the shipbuilding industry for insulation and fireproofing.
  4. Automotive mechanics: Asbestos was used in brake pads, clutches, and other automotive parts, exposing mechanics to fibers during repairs.
  5. Firefighters: Older buildings often contain asbestos, putting firefighters at risk during emergency responses.

If you have worked in one of these high-risk occupations and have been diagnosed with lung cancer, it's essential to consult with experienced lung cancer lawyers to discuss your legal options.

Importance of Early Detection and Treatment

Early detection and treatment of asbestos-related lung cancer can significantly improve a patient's prognosis and quality of life. Some common symptoms of lung cancer include:

  1. Persistent cough
  2. Chest pain
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Unexplained weight loss
  5. Coughing up blood

If you have a history of asbestos exposure and experience any of these symptoms, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve survival rates and overall outcomes.

Lung cancer lawyers can help individuals who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer seek compensation to cover the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses related to their illness.

Legal Options for Those Diagnosed with Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

Individuals who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer may be entitled to compensation through various legal options, including:

  1. Personal injury lawsuits: Lung cancer patients can file lawsuits against the companies responsible for their asbestos exposure, seeking damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
  2. Wrongful death lawsuits: Family members of individuals who have died from asbestos-related lung cancer can file wrongful death lawsuits to seek compensation for their losses.
  3. Asbestos trust fund claims: Many companies that have faced asbestos-related lawsuits have established trust funds to compensate victims. Lung cancer lawyers can help clients navigate the trust fund claim process.
  4. Workers' compensation claims: Some states allow workers who have developed asbestos-related lung cancer due to occupational exposure to file workers' compensation claims.

Lung cancer lawyers with experience in asbestos-related cases can help clients determine the best legal options for their specific situation and guide them through the process of seeking compensation.

Choosing the Right Lung Cancer Lawyer

When seeking legal representation for an asbestos-related lung cancer case, it's essential to choose a lawyer or law firm with extensive experience in this area of law. Some factors to consider when selecting a lung cancer lawyer include:

  1. Experience: Look for a lawyer who has a proven track record of successfully representing clients in asbestos-related lung cancer cases.
  2. Knowledge: Choose a lawyer who has a deep understanding of the medical and legal aspects of asbestos-related lung cancer cases.
  3. Resources: Asbestos-related lung cancer cases can be complex and require significant resources to build a strong case. Select a law firm with the resources necessary to thoroughly investigate your case and advocate for your rights.
  4. Compassion: Dealing with a lung cancer diagnosis can be emotionally and physically challenging. Choose a lawyer who is compassionate, supportive, and committed to fighting for your best interests.

Legal Options are Available with Lung Cancer Lawyers

The connection between lung cancer and asbestos exposure is a little-known but significant risk factor for this deadly disease. By understanding the types of lung cancer, and the occupations and industries with a high risk of asbestos exposure, you can take steps to protect their health and their rights. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer, don't hesitate to seek the help of experienced lung cancer lawyers who can guide you through the legal process and fight for the justice you deserve.

Get the Legal Help You Need with Braver Law's Lung Cancer Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer due to asbestos exposure, the first step is understanding your legal options and getting the help of experienced lung cancer lawyers. At Braver Law, our asbestos attorneys have a wealth of knowledge in handling asbestos-related lung cancer cases, and we are dedicated to fighting for the compensation you deserve. Don't navigate this challenging time alone – fill out our online form to file a claim or call 800-672-7181 to speak with one of our lung cancer lawyers today.

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