Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Exposure to asbestos can cause a rare cancer, mesothelioma, which develops on the outer lining of the lung. Asbestos-related lung cancer is different to mesothelioma as lung cancer develops in the lung space rather than the lung lining.
The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. However, lung cancer has several causes including smoking, air pollution and exposure to chemicals and gases.
Genetics can also play a part and people with a family history of lung cancer are more likely to develop it than those who do not.
To show that lung cancer is asbestos-related, a history of heavy exposure to asbestos needs to be shown. This would be found in people who worked with asbestos day in, day out, such as laggers, demolition workers and those who worked in asbestos factories.
If someone has been exposed to asbestos and has smoked, their risk of developing lung cancer is increased, as the asbestos exposure combined with a smoking history has a synergistic effect.
Symptoms of lung cancer can vary but can include:
- A cough, be it persistent or changing
- Breathing difficulties including wheezing and breathlessness
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
- Blood in sputum
Treatment for asbestos-related lung cancer is the same as that for any lung cancer, and will depend on the age, the general health and condition of the patient, and the stage of the cancer.
Surgery may be an option to remove all or part of the tumour. In some cases, surgery may also be carried out to remove pleural fluid which can help to ease symptoms of chest pain and breathlessness.
Chemotherapy may be offered to reduce the size of tumours which will in turn, reduce pain and breathing problems.
Radiotherapy can also be used to reduce the size of tumours and to prevent further tumour growth or spread by killing the cancer cells.
For many patients, a combination of all three treatments will be offered.
Immunotherapy may also be offered as a treatment for lung cancer. This is a treatment which uses the patient’s own immune system to help kill cancer cells.
The prognosis for asbestos-related lung cancer is similar to that of any other lung cancer. The stage of the cancer at diagnosis is key to the prognosis of a patient, as this will show whether the cancer can be removed through surgery and whether the cancer has metastasised or spread to another part of the body. The age and general health of a patient will also be a factor in their prognosis.
Making a claim for asbestos-related lung cancer
In order to make a claim for compensation for asbestos-related lung cancer, you would need to be able to show a very heavy history of exposure to asbestos. This is typically seen in people who worked closely with large amounts of airborne asbestos dust, such as laggers, demolition workers, or people who worked in asbestos factories.
Having been or being a smoker does not stop you from claiming compensation for lung cancer if it can be shown you have also had heavy exposure to asbestos. A smoker who has also been exposed to asbestos has an increased risk of developing lung cancer, compared to someone who has only smoked.
Get in touch
If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer and think it may be related to your exposure to asbestos in the past, do not hesitate to contact us. We will review your employment history and go through your exposure to determine whether we believe you can pursue a claim for compensation. You can call our expert asbestos disease team on 01244 312306 or email email@example.com.
Call and speak to a member of our team on 01244 312306