Do you have lung nodules from asbestos exposure? Treatment options are available.
If you have lung nodules from asbestos exposure, your treatment options depend on whether your lung nodules are malignant (cancerous) or benign (will not spread). Asbestos is a carcinogen (http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses
Carcinogens/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens) known to cause cancer in humans.
Although most lung nodules are noncancerous (benign), some represent early-stage lung cancer. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lung-nodules/AN01082) If you were exposed to asbestos and now have lung nodules, it is very important that you see a doctor regularly to monitor the nodules for growth.
Asbestos exposure increases the risk of developing small cell and non–small cell lung cancer. Asbestos-related lung cancers are indistinguishable from lung cancers related to smoking alone. (http://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/0301/p683.html) If you were exposed to asbestos and now have lung nodules—early indicators of lung cancer—it is likely that asbestos contributed to the nodules.
Weitz & Luxenberg offers this page on lung nodules (from asbestos) treatment in the hopes that anyone suffering from lung nodules, benign or cancerous, will learn more about their condition, their treatment options, and their legal options.
Some lung nodules are preceded by asbestos; all treatment is preceded by tests
Once your doctor detects a lung nodule or lung nodules, he or she will have you take X-rays and/ or a CT (computerized tomography) scan, and compare it with earlier images of your lungs. Dr. Edward C. Rosenow of the Mayo Clinic says if a lung nodule is “new or has changed in size, shape or appearance, your doctor may recommend further testing — such as a CT scan, positron emission tomography (PET) scan or tissue biopsy — to determine if it is cancerous.” (Mayo Clinic).
If X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans do not give doctors a clear answer as to whether your lung nodules are cancerous or not, doctors might retrieve cells from the nodule for a biopsy. During a biopsy, “cells are collected using a needle or performing localized surgery.” (AAFP)
If the lung nodule or nodules are determined to be benign, no treatment is needed, but your doctor will probably monitor the nodule for changes using periodic imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, etc. (Mayo Clinic)
When lung nodules caused by asbestos require treatment: your surgical options
Doctors treat malignant lung nodules by removing them surgically. Depending on its size and location, your doctor may use one of the following surgical methods to remove your cancerous lung nodules:
- Video-assisted thorocoscopic surgery: The surgeon inserts the thorascopic device into the lung and removes the nodule tissue.
- A mini-thoracotomy: minimally invasive surgical procedure that zeros in on the nodule. Doctors will choose a mini-thoracotomy over a full thoracotomy whenever possible.
- A thoracotomy is “a comprehensive, invasive procedure whose goal is removal of the diseased portion of the lung—sometime a sizeable “wedge” of the organ.”
(University of Rochester Medical Center)
Paying for lung nodules asbestos treatment does not have to be a burden
Malignant lung nodules caused by asbestos can require expensive treatment. It is not your responsibility to pay for procedures that you would not require if you had been properly protected and warned about asbestos exposure.
Weitz & Luxenberg has helped many victims of asbestos exposure in our more than twenty years as a law firm, and we are committed to helping all who suffer from the many diseases caused by asbestos. If you have lung nodules caused by asbestos exposure, and are interested in learning more about your legal options, call Weitz & Luxenberg today or fill out a form to receive your free legal consultation.
American Cancer Society:
American Academy of Family Physicians:
University of Rochester Medical Center: