What You Need to Know About Asbestos-Related Lung Cancers

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Much attention is given to mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lungs and other organs), but lung cancer is also caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a significant contributor to lung cancer among both smokers and nonsmokers.

Like mesothelioma, the time between asbestos exposure and when the asbestos-related lung cancer manifests may be years or even decades. Many times, asbestos-related cancer patients also suffer from asbestosis, which is scarring of the lung tissue caused by the irritation and inflammation of inhaled asbestos fibers.

Facts About Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

  • It may develop as much as 15 to 35 years after asbestos exposure
  • There are two main forms: small cell and non-small cell
  • A patient’s prognosis and treatment depend on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis

Lung cancer presents with the same general symptoms, whether it is asbestos-related or not. The symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Sustained coughing
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of the neck or face
  • Chronic respiratory infections

Lung cancer typically grows in individual masses with defined boundaries, as opposed to mesothelioma, which begins with small tumor nodules scattered throughout the mesothelial lining which eventually grow together to form a tumor around the affected organ.

Smoking and Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

Doctors with expertise in asbestos-related illnesses confirm that cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure are a lethal combination. Cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure can each cause lung cancer on their own. In combination, however, asbestos exposure and smoking cause lung cancer at a rate higher than either could produce independently.

Furthermore, asbestos exposure has been determined to be a significant contributing factor in the development of lung cancer for people who smoked. Therefore, if you had asbestos exposure and then developed lung cancer, you may be entitled to asbestos injury compensation, even if you smoked.

Compensation for Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

An attorney with a focus on asbestos-related injury and illness can evaluate your case and provide a recommendation as to whether or not you should file a claim. The lawyer considers the strength of the medical evidence supporting your diagnosis and whether it’s possible to identify the company or companies legally responsible for your asbestos exposure.

In the majority of cases, filing a lawsuit against one or more non-bankrupt asbestos companies can result in a substantial cash settlement. In cases where it is not possible to identify the responsible companies to sue, it is likely possible to file claims with one or several Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts. These trusts have been established by the courts to cover the liabilities of bankrupt asbestos manufacturers.

Many of these lawsuits settle before trial, but some cases must be tried before a jury to obtain a favorable result. Every asbestos case is unique, and the right lawyer is critical to a favorable outcome in a lawsuit. Schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can quickly identify the potentially liable parties and can pursue the maximum possible compensation for your losses.