The consensus among U.S. doctors is that there is a direct correlation with lung cancer and asbestos exposure. The risk of death from this disease is compounded by the frequency and duration of asbestos exposure, as well as critical health factors, like smoking. Statistics show that each year, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 victims die from lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Lung Cancer from Asbestos at Work
Nearly 30,000 lung cases diagnosed each year are attributed to asbestos exposure suffered at the workplace. We’ve known since the mid-50’s that workers in these environments are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer than the rest of the country. With cases involving severe or recurring exposure to asbestos particles, asbestos-related lung cancer is considered twice as likely to occur than mesothelioma.
People involved with these types of jobs are most likely to suffer develop lung cancer from asbestos exposure:
- Steel mills
- Oil refineries and oil fields
- Tire manufacturers
- Rubber plants
- Automobile manufacturers and mechanics
- Construction, carpentry and insulation
- Shipyard workers
- Pipe workers
- Flooring, tile and roofing workers
For veterans, the risk of developing lung cancer after asbestos exposure typically results from frequent involvement with:
- Navy shipyards
- Heavy equipment
- Aircraft manufacturing, helicopters and airplanes
- Caterpillar backhoes
- Machinery used in manufacturing plants
- Heat resistance properties
- Repairing tanks
- Staying in sleeping quarters
Asbestos Lung Cancer and Smoking
The smokers working in these environments face an even greater risk of developing lung cancer from asbestos exposure on the job. People who smoke are 50 to 90 times to develop lung cancer from asbestos exposure than non-smokers are. Even if you are a smoker, you still have every right to recover restitution from any parties responsible for exposing you to asbestos that contributed to you developing lung cancer.
Latency of Asbestos Lung Cancer
Typically, the latency period for asbestos lung cancer is 10 to 35 years following the first exposure to the microscopic fibers. Because of the long latency period, the symptoms of exposure may be mistaken for less serious ailments and the critical diagnosis is delayed. A single thread of microscopic asbestos fiber is hazardous enough to develop a potentially fatal lung cancer decades later. For many workers, symptoms of lung cancer may not occur until 15 years after first being exposed to asbestos on the job.
Different Types of Asbestos Lung Cancers
Exposure to asbestos can cause you to develop either of the two major types of lung cancer:
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 80 to 85 percent of all lung cancers. The three main varieties of NSCLC to be aware of are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. The most common NSCLC to affect male workers and other victims exposed to asbestos is squamous cell carcinoma.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for about 10 to 15 percent of all lung cancers. The three main varieties of SCLC to be aware of are small cell carcinoma, mixed small cell or large cell carcinoma and combined small cell carcinoma. Small cell carcinoma is often referred to as Oat Cell Cancer, the most common variety of SCLC to develop.
Life Expectancy for Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Life expectancy of lung cancer can vary significantly based upon the prior health of the individual, the primary site of the cancerous growth, the level of metastization, and other factors. Due to the variety of diagnoses and the unknown causes, assembling life expectancy data just on asbestos-caused lung cancers would be difficult.
NSCLC is the less aggressive of the two types of lung cancer, and typically provides patients with more options for treatment. However, less than 18 percent of all NSCLC lung cancer patients live beyond five years following their diagnosis. SCLC is more aggressive, offers fewer options for treatment and has a poor remission rate compared to NSCLC. Unfortunately, fewer than 7 percent of the patients diagnosed with SCLC live over five years beyond the date of their diagnosis.
Treatment Options for Asbestos-Caused Lung Cancer
Treatment options vary on the health of the patient, the size and location of the tumor, and other factors. Surgical removal of partial lung lobes, complete lung lobes or an entire lung is possible. Caught early enough, surgery in combination with chemotherapy and radiation is considered the most effective treatment. Diet and lifestyle changes may also be recommended.
Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Symptoms for asbestos-related lung cancer can take 10 to 35 years to appear in victims who have been exposed to the microscopic fibers. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Chest pain, tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent dry cough
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
Can I File a Personal Injury Case for My Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer?
Yes. The parties potentially liable for the asbestos exposure reported in your case may be ordered to compensate you for damages associated with any health expenses, pain or emotional turmoil you or family members suffered as a result of the lung cancer. If you have an asbestos-related work history predating 1982, you may qualify to receive additional compensation from asbestos trust funds.
Contact our legal team to learn more about any potential compensation you may be due for your asbestos case.
If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma from asbestos exposure, call immediately.
You will receive immediate assistance as well as a free and confidential case evaluation.
Our legal team will handle your asbestos case and identify all the potentially liable parties and trust funds available.