Asbestos Lung Cancer
During the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, asbestos was widely used in construction both in the UK and worldwide and prolonged exposure to this material (which releases deadly fibres when disturbed) can lead to the development of asbestos-related lung cancer. Whilst this disease typically has a long latency period, often of anything up to 40 years or more, the diagnosis of lung cancer will always bring with it a difficult time for both the sufferer and their family and, in many instances, bring about financial worries. As such, if you or a close family member has been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer within the last 3 years, we want you to know that we are here to help.
Asbestos-related diseases are usually as a result of occupational exposure to the material and, as such, if it can be proven that this was due to the negligence of a current or former employer, there may be grounds to be a claim for asbestos-related lung cancer compensation.
Recent Successful Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer Claims Include
- £108,000 Awarded To Mr T, A Former Electrician / Maintenance Engineer
- £94,000 Awarded To Mr G, A Former Liverpool Dock Worker
- £85,000 Awarded To Mrs B, A Former Fitter
Asbestos-related lung cancer is a deadly disease where uncontrolled cell growth occurs in the tissue of the lung. The growth within the lungs can lead to metastasis, which is where the cancer invades the adjacent tissue and invades the organs in the body beyond the lungs. The vast majority of cancers in the lung are carcinomas of the lung, derived from body tissues. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and the second most common in women. Globally it is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide.
There are two main types of lung cancer – small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The distinction is important because treatment can varies. Non-small cell lung carcinoma is often treated with surgery, whilst small cell lung carcinoma responds better to treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. There are many causes of lung cancer, with the most prevalent being long-term smoking, however cases in non-smokers (which account for around 15% of cases) are often caused by a combination of factors, such as genetic predisposition, radon gas exposure, asbestos exposure and air pollution.
Long-term asbestos exposure can lead to the development of lung cancer and it is reported that asbestos kills at least twice as many people each year through lung cancer than through mesothelioma. The risk of lung cancer in those who have been exposed to asbestos is far greater in smokers and the effect of both smoke and asbestos is known to weaken the lungs, as well as making them more susceptible to the development of cancer. Of course, given the fact that smoking is the single biggest cause of lung cancer, it can often be difficult to distinguish whether the cause of the disease is smoking, asbestos or a combination of the two.
The symptoms of asbestos-related lung cancer include:
- A Persistent Cough Which Gets Worse
- Chest Pain That Is Worse With Deep Breathing
- A Chronic Cough
- Weight Loss
- Loss Of Appetite
- Coughing Up Blood
- Shortness Of Breath
- Feeling Tired Or Weak
- Recurring Infections Such As Pneumonia or Bronchitis
- New Onset Of Wheezing
Whilst many of the symptoms of asbestos-related lung cancer are regularly associated with other diseases and conditions, most people with this disease will have a number of the above for a few months prior to diagnosis. If you are experiencing any of the above, it is suggested that you make an appointment to discuss your symptoms with your GP at the earliest possible opportunity.
Asbestos-related lung cancer can be diagnosed by means of a chest X-ray and CT scan. The diagnosis is often then confirmed with a biopsy. Whilst it is often difficult to determine whether or not the cause of the cancer was due to asbestos or another factor, the diagnosis process is the same as is with all lung cancers. The sooner a diagnosis can be made, the better the prognosis and the wider number of treatment options available.
The treatment and prognosis of asbestos-related lung cancer depends largely on a variety of factors including the histological type of cancer, the degree of spread (stage) and the patient’s health status. Available treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.