Defining asbestos lung cancer
In the 1950’s, asbestos was as ubiquitous as bread. Every building, home, car, and major infrastructure in America contained asbestos. Then, in the 1980’s, asbestos litigation exploded. Mesothelioma became a household word, and the country as a whole finally woke to the devastating extent of the asbestos problem. Weitz & Luxenberg has been helping victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases seek financial compensation for their losses for over two decades. As part of our mission to inform the public about the asbestos problem, we have dedicated this area of our website just to asbestos disease information. In this particular section, we will provide you helpful information and resources on lung cancer – one of the diseases caused by asbestos.
For information on financial compensation for asbestos-related lung cancer, simply fill out the form on this page. We will get back to you within 24 hours to provide you with a personal consultation on your asbestos case.
What is asbestos-related lung cancer?
Lung cancer caused by asbestos is not to be confused with mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lining of the lungs. Asbestos-related lung cancer functions like most lung cancers. It is made up of a tumor (or multiple tumors) in the lungs. Lung cancer can be broken into two specific categories:
Small Cell Cancer
A fast-growing type of lung cancer, small cell lung cancer can be broken down into three categories:
Mixed small cell/large cell carcinoma
Combined small cell carcinoma
Small cell carcinoma (also known as oat cell cancer) – this is the most common variety of small cell lung cancer.
Small cell makes up approximately 15% of all lung cancers. The cancer cells are small in the very early stages, but then grow rapidly to form large tumors. These tumors then spread (or metastasize) affecting other areas of the body. The cancer can quickly become life-threatening once the tumors have spread to the surrounding vital organs such as the heart, brain, bones, or liver.
Symptoms of small cell lung cancer:
Blood in the phlegm/coughing up blood
Persistent or changes in cough
Pains in the chest
Losing weight unexpectedly
These are the symptoms that are typical with lung cancer, but other symptoms may also develop including:
Non-small cell lung cancer (or NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, and grows slower than small cell lung cancer. NSCLC can be broken down into three varieties:
Squamous cell carcinoma – the cancer cells are typically found in the center of the lung near the bronchus (airway passage that conducts air into the lungs)
Adenocarcinoma –the cancer cells develop in the outer area of the lung
Large cell carcinomas – a fast spreading lung cancer type that can develop anywhere in the lungs
Symptoms of non-small cell cancer
Common symptoms for Non-small cell lung cancer are the same as small cell lung cancer symptoms. Other less common symptoms include:
Pain in the joints
Drooping of the eyelids
Unusual issues with the nails
How does asbestos cause lung cancer?
It is not exactly known how asbestos causes cancer, but what is known is that the fibers of the asbestos have something to do with it. The tiny fibers are breathed in and then stick into the lungs. They stay there for years, and have been known to irritate the lung cells and eventually cause some cells to mutate into cancerous ones.
Those that have been exposed to asbestos longer tend to have an increased risk of developing lung cancer. In addition, external sources such as regular inhalation of cigarette smoke increase the risk of developing lung cancer
In general, it takes about 15 years for someone to develop lung cancer after asbestos exposure (Cancer.org).
Treatment varies greatly depending on variety of cancer and stage of cancer. In general, the treatment options for lung cancer are (oncologychannel.com):
Surgery – removal of cancerous area. This includes the use of instruments or lasers.
Photodynamic therapy (or PDT) – this method deals with administering an injection of a light-activated drug into the body. The tumor in the lungs is then “illuminated by a laser fiber” that transmits light of a certain wavelength. The laser is then used to eradicate the sensitized tumor. An unfortunate side-effect of this procedure is sensitivity to light.
Radiation therapy – this is a method that uses gamma rays (high-energy radiation) to shrink the tumor.
Chemotherapy – in general, chemotherapy is just the administration of certain chemicals to kill cancerous cells. The use of chemotherapy is sometimes used in conjunction with other treatments. There are many different ways to use chemotherapy and many different varieties of chemotherapy treatments.
Asbestos has harmed so many Americans from Navy veterans to plumbers. It has even affected their wives and children through second-hand exposure. Major asbestos companies knew about this problem and did nothing about it. The only reconciliation we can offer is the knowledge that financial compensation is available for those that have been stricken with asbestos-related lung cancer, and we can help you receive it.
For a free, no obligation, legal consultation fill out the form on this page. Simply, explain your case and in 24 hours, a representative of Weitz & Luxenberg will be in contact with you. We have helped so many people who have been stricken with asbestos-related diseases receive just compensation for their losses, and we can help you as well.