Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

asbestosSince the late 1800s, many companies have used asbestos – a naturally occurring mineral, as a common building material, as well as other commercial purposes, in North America. Since that time, it has become highly regulated and U.S. government agencies now classify it as a human carcinogen. When someone works with an asbestos-containing product, they can release the microscopic fibers into the air, often inhaling the fibers where they then can become trapped in the lungs. Over long periods of time, the fibers can build up and cause inflammation, scarring and other dangerous health problems.

Exposure

In some cases, exposure to the fibers can even cause lung cancer. The length of time exposed and the concentration of asbestos exposure plays a role in the risk of developing lung cancer. OSHA has shown an association between the concentration of asbestos exposure and the risk of lung cancer, finding the greater the absorption of asbestos fibers, the greater the risk of lung cancer. Several aspects can assist in determining how asbestos exposure affects an individual. These include frequency of exposure; proximity of exposure; duration, or the length of time of the exposure; and individual risk factors such as smoking.

Types of Lung Cancer

There are two main types of lung cancer: small cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma, which has three main forms. The three main forms of non-small cell lung carcinoma are: squamous cell carcinoma, which begins in the large air passages (bronchi); large cell carcinoma, which is similar to squamous cell carcinoma; and adenocarcinoma, which is the most common form of lung cancer that starts in the glands found in the lining of the airways.

Symptoms

The symptoms of lung cancer can differ between different people, although many people do not have symptoms in the early stages. Initial symptoms of lung cancer may include persistent cough, weight loss, chest/shoulder pains, loss of energy, hoarse voice, or shortness of breath.

Diagnosis

There are numerous tests that can be used to diagnose lung cancer or mesothelioma. These tests include x-rays or CT scans to give a 3D picture of your chest, biopsy to remove a small sample of lung cells, a sputum cytology test to examine your phlegm since cancer cells are sometimes coughed up, and other tests such as bone, liver, brain, or blood tests.

Litigation

If you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos at any time during your life and you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. Certain companies have created asbestos trust funds to provide compensation for people who develop lung cancer due to asbestos exposure attributable to their products. Others continue to deny their liability and take a “scorched-earth” approach to making you prove they caused your lung cancer. An experienced attorney can help you take the steps necessary to prove your claim and receive compensation. With over 40 years experience in asbestos litigation, the Madeksho Law Firm can help.