Mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. However, some people who were exposed to asbestos fibers decades ago develop lung cancer. The incidence is especially high among people with history of both asbestos exposure and cigarette smoking.
Unlike mesothelioma, which is only caused by asbestos, lung cancer can be caused by many other factors. Along with the latency period of 20 to 40 years, this makes it difficult to prove the asbestos connection. However, there are tell-tale symptoms of asbestos-related lung cancer as opposed to other forms of lung cancer. The key is to be examined by a physician who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of asbestos diseases.
Symptoms of asbestos lung cancer
Mesothelioma and lung cancer are not the same. Lung cancer actually affects the tissues of the lungs, while mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining that encases the lungs (pleura), or the linings around the heart (pericardium) or internal organs (peritoneum).
Many of the symptoms of the two diseases are the same, but a mesothelioma specialist or oncologist can often differentiate and order the appropriate tests to verify a diagnosis of lung cancer. Common symptoms of lung cancer include:
Pain in the chest, shoulder or back with deep breaths
While mesothelioma can occur from light or single exposures, asbestos lung cancer usually results from long-term or heavy exposure to asbestos fibers. Work history in high-exposure occupations, military service during the “asbestos era” (especially in the Navy) and a history of smoking are some of the strongest correlations with asbestos-related lung cancer.
Treatment of asbestos lung cancer
The options for treatment depend upon the stage at which the disease is diagnosed, as well as other factors such as age and health. Treatment may involve radical removal of a portion of a lung or a complete pneumonectomy (removal of the entire lung) to prevent the tumors from spreading to other parts of the body. Radiation and chemotherapy may be effective to kill or slow the tumors. In late stages, treatment is centered on extending life, treating pain and making the person as comfortable as possible until the end.
Asbestos cancers take years to develop, but then spread rapidly. There is a short window for viable treatment once the disease is diagnosed. Greg Jones Law is committed to helping clients get a timely diagnosis so that curative or life-extending treatments can begin as soon as possible. We help clients and their families connect to the right doctors and deal with the financial burdens while we build a case to hold employers or manufacturers accountable for the devastation.
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Our firm has represented victims of mesothelioma and asbestos disease for over 25 years. With offices in Wilmington and statewide, we counsel clients in North Carolina and throughout the United States.
Call 855-566-3752 or contact us online today to talk with our firm. We do not charge for initial consultations. If there is no recovery, you owe no legal fees.