Asbestos Lung Cancer
Asbestos exposure may lead to lung cancer, a type of cancer that begins in the lungs. Survival rates can vary widely depending on cancer stage, lung cancer type, and other factors. Lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and asbestos exposure is one known cause.
Asbestos Lung Cancer Versus Mesothelioma
Lung cancer and mesothelioma are both cancerous asbestos diseases that begin in the lungs after exposure to asbestos.
Lung cancer tumors form on the inner surface of the lung tissue around air sacs or the alveoli. They can also form in bronchial tubes. Regardless of where they start, lung cancer tumors start as localized growths and are identifiable. That makes lung cancer tumors easy to identify and remove or remotely treat before they spread.
Mesothelioma cancer cells are a diffused malignancy. That means they’re spread all over the mesothelium (lining of the lung) and connect through a network of malignant cells rather than in one concentrated spot.
Lung Cancer and Asbestos Exposure
When asbestos fibers enter the lungs, they do two things. First, they lodge in the lung’s soft inner tissue. Second, they traverse the soft tissue and travel through to the lung lining. Asbestos fibers stick to lung tissue and lining like flypaper. They can’t be exhaled and don’t decompose like organic pollutants.
Asbestos irritants remain in the lungs and trigger a natural immune system response to cover the fibers with scar tissue. That can be small, localized scars in the alveoli or large, extensive coverings in the mesothelium.
There is a long latency period for lung cancer and mesothelioma tumors to develop. That ranges anywhere from 10 to 50 years depending on the individual circumstances. But once these tumors turn malignant, they are aggressive and difficult to treat. An early diagnosis typically allows for more treatment options and longer life expectancy.
Detecting Lung Cancer Caused by Asbestos Exposure
Most lung cancer victims first suspect trouble when symptoms similar to a cough or flu arise. Lung cancer tumors slowly build and then rapidly escalate.
Symptoms present as a shortage of breath, lack of oxygen, fatigue and chest discomfort. Continual coughing and excessive phlegm are also red flags of tumors.
The best lung cancer detection is knowing the risks of developing lung cancer after prolonged asbestos exposure. Patients with a history of asbestos exposure should discuss this with their doctor and have precautionary detection tests.
Chest X-rays and blood work are excellent ways to detect asbestos-caused scars about to turn tumorous.
Treating Asbestos Lung Cancer
The key to successfully treating lung cancer tumors is early detection and immediate intervention. Like all cancer forms, lung tumors are assessed by their progress stage.
Treatment techniques depend on where tumor progression is in these defined stages:
- Stage 1: Lung cancer tumors are small and localized. They’re easy to isolate and surgery often entirely removes all malignant cells. Radiation and chemotherapy may also work well in stage one.
- Stage 2: These tumors are spreading. Sometimes, other organs are already affected. Surgery is more difficult than in stage one, and radiation and chemo are also less promising.
- Stage 3: By now, lung cancer has widely spread and nearly impossible to control. Intervention turns to assisting a patient’s comfort and lifestyle.
- Stage 4: Health care workers focus on pain control and physical comfort in this stage. Often, this is in a hospice or palliative setting.
Compensation for Lung Cancer Caused by Asbestos Exposure
No matter if a person develops mesothelioma or lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure, they have the option to seek compensation from negligent asbestos product manufacturers and distributors.
Companies were forced to set aside court-ordered trust funds for those diagnosed with mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.
Compensation is available to cover medical expenses, personal injury damages and lost income. Families of people with asbestos cancer can file claims on their behalf. They can also file asbestos wrongful death lawsuits.
For additional information on lung cancer compensation, contact us today.
- National Cancer Institute, “Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk” Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/asbestos/asbestos-fact-sheet Accessed on 16 December, 2017
- U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration, “Asbestos Risks” Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/index.html Accessed on 16 December, 2017
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Health Effects from Exposure to Asbestos” Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/learn-about-asbestos#effects Accessed on 16 December, 2017
- National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Investigating Cancer Risks Related to Asbestos and Other Occupational Carcinogens” Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2078489/ Accessed on 16 December, 2017
- American Cancer Society, “Asbestos and Cancer Risk” Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/asbestos.html Accessed on 16 December, 2017
- National Institute of Health, “Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma in Prior Asbestos Workers” Retrieved from https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00188890 Accessed on 16 December, 2017
Easier Than It May Seem
Your individual situation may merit an actual lawsuit. However, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Trusts have been set up to benefit victims of mesothelioma in such a way that lawsuits and court appearances aren’t needed. Contact us today and you’ll see how easy it can be to get the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can file a mesothelioma claim?
A person who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma – as well as their spouse, child, or family member – may be able to file a claim to recover compensation from manufacturers of asbestos products. If the mesothelioma patient passes away, a family member or estate representative may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
How much money is in the asbestos trust fund?
An estimated $30 billion has been set aside in asbestos trust funds to compensate mesothelioma patients. Many companies that made asbestos products later filed for bankruptcy, so they created these trust funds to pay out future mesothelioma claims. If the company responsible for your asbestos exposure no longer exists, you may be entitled to money from their trust fund.
How do I file a mesothelioma claim?
To file a mesothelioma claim, contact an attorney who is experienced with these types of lawsuits. They will know where and when to file your claim, how to build the strongest case possible, and the best way to maximize compensation on your behalf.
What is the statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims?
The statute of limitations (deadline to file) for mesothelioma claims will vary depending on the state in which you file. In many states, it’s 2-3 years from the date of the mesothelioma diagnosis – though it may be longer if the mesothelioma patient has passed away. A mesothelioma lawyer can make sure your claim is filed within the required time frame.
How long do mesothelioma claims take?
Every mesothelioma claim is different, with circumstances and factors that are unique to that mesothelioma patient’s story. Though there’s no way to predict exactly how long a claim will take, an experienced mesothelioma attorney will ensure the process is handled as efficiently as possible.
Many claimants start to receive compensation in as few as 90 days after settling their mesothelioma claims.
What is the average payout for mesothelioma?
There is no guarantee of compensation when you file a mesothelioma claim, and countless factors affect how much money you might be able to recover (assuming your case settles). That said, 95% of these lawsuits are settled out of court, and the average settlement amount is $1-1.4 million.
How much is my mesothelioma claim worth?
Your mesothelioma case value depends on the specifics of your situation, such as the duration of your asbestos exposure, and the total cost of your mesothelioma treatment (as well as travel expenses and other related losses). The best way to figure out how much your claim is worth is to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer.
What type of mesothelioma claim do I have?
Most mesothelioma claims fall under one of four categories:
- Personal injury: You were exposed to asbestos (often through your job, or your loved one’s), so you file a lawsuit against the company that made the asbestos products.
- Asbestos trust fund: Similar to a personal injury claim, only the company in question went bankrupt, so you can’t sue them – but you may be able to access a trust fund they set aside for mesothelioma victims.
- Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits: U.S. military veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their service may qualify for related health care benefits through the VA.
- Wrongful death: When a mesothelioma patient passes away, their family member or estate representative may be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf, seeking money to pay for past medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, etc.
A mesothelioma attorney can determine which type of claim makes the most sense for you and your family. (Some clients qualify for more than one.)