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Lung Cancer Lawyer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, claiming more lives each year than breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancers combined. According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is responsible for about a quarter of all cancer-related deaths.

As many assume, the smoke from tobacco —both direct and secondhand—is a major cause of lung cancers. However, lung cancer has shown an increase in occurrence among non-smokers. Exposure to asbestos and radon are the chief culprits for this–whether you were a smoker or not.

Often, the first signs of lung cancer do not show up until decades after exposure. It can take years for lung cancer to develop from exposure to asbestos.

Lung Cancer Basics

Lung cancer is a serious illness. Several factors impact lung cancer's curability. The specific cause of your cancer may qualify you for financial damages.

It is essential to know the symptoms of lung cancer so that you can seek treatment as soon as potential signs of trouble arise. The sooner you seek medical care, the better your odds are of treating lung cancer during a more curable stage.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. If you have lung cancer and suffered exposure to a dangerous substance, you may be able to recover financial compensation.

The Types of Lung Cancer

There are three general types of lung cancer:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer: By far the most common type of lung cancer. This is an umbrella term for many different types of lung cancer that behave similarly.
  • Lung carcinoid tumor(s): Extremely rare, this category is sometimes referred to as “lung neuroendocrine tumors.” These grow slowly and rarely spread.
  • Small cell lung cancer: Also called “oat cell cancer,” this type accounts for about 10% to 15% of lung cancers and spreads rapidly. 

Within these general categories, there are several more specific forms of lung cancer, and the causes of each may vary. While smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, it is not the only cause, and non-smokers can develop lung cancer as well.

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The Stages of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the more serious types of cancer. Lung cancer may be curable if it's detected early. Doctors inform lung cancer patients that the likelihood of long-term survival is determined by what stage, from I to IV, the cancer is in, the patient's overall health status, and the outcome of the first treatment.

The stages of lung cancer depend on whether it is small cell or non-small cell. There are four stages of non-small cell lung cancer. Each stage has its own characteristics:

  • Stage I: Cancer is confined to the lung and has not spread any farther. Lymph nodes are not yet affected. It can typically be treated and removed with surgery.
  • Stage II: Cancer is confined to the lungs and the lymph nodes within the lungs. Second-stage patients often undergo surgery combined with a chemotherapy regimen.
  • Stage III: Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest, and patients may experience fluid in the lungs. There are two substages in stage III, A and B. In stage IIIA, the cancer is only in the lymph nodes on the side of the chest where the cancer originated.
    In stage IIIB, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest. Treatments for Stage III vary, but often involve some combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, ideally done together.
  • Stage IV: This is the most serious type, involving cancer that has spread outside the chest and into other organs, such as the liver, brain or bones. Treatment for Stage IV cancers are not considered curative; the goal at this point is to shrink the tumor and try to control the disease to buy as much time as possible for the patient.

Small cell lung cancer has two stages:

  • Limited stage: In limited stage, the cancer is only in one lung or in lymph nodes on the same side of the chest.
  • Extensive stage: In extensive stage, the cancer may be in one lung, the opposite lung, lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest, distant organs, bone marrow, or fluid surrounding the chest.

If you have experienced symptoms, seek medical attention. It is important to identify the potential causes of lung cancer, especially if you are a non-smoker.

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Can Lung Cancer Be Cured?

Lung cancer is one of the most serious forms of cancer you can develop, but it is often curable. According to the American Lung Association, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer that is caught when the disease is still localized in the lungs is 56 percent. Yet only 16 percent of cases are caught at that early stage, which reinforces how important it is to seek treatment as soon as you suspect something may be wrong.

There are a few treatment options for those diagnosed with lung cancer. Treatment paths include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Targeted therapy
  • Radiation therapy

Your doctor can discuss the best treatment route for you depending on the specifics of your cancer. Doctors may also be able to help you pinpoint the likely cause of your lung cancer.

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What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a heat and corrosion-resistant mineral that has been linked to health conditions including lung cancer, but despite the link, it is still used today. Asbestos may be used as an insulating material, and many people who spent large amounts of time in buildings constructed with asbestos are not aware of its presence.

There has been a move away from asbestos-containing materials since 1973, when the EPA passed the Clean Air Act. That Act banned the use of asbestos in most of its sprayable forms, but stopped short of banning the mineral completely.

The danger in asbestos comes primarily from breathing dust or fibers containing asbestos, most of which are not visible to the naked eye. This means that several groups may be at an elevated risk of asbestos-induced lung disease, including:

  • Demolition teams
  • Insulators
  • Auto industry workers
  • Navy veterans
  • Shipyard workers
  • Construction workers
  • Firefighters
  • Asbestos miners
  • Asbestos plant workers

Though these groups are at an obvious risk of ingesting and/or breathing asbestos-laden fibers and dust, anybody who spends substantial time in a building where asbestos fibers have begun to fray may be at risk. Some of the dangerous health conditions associated with breathing or ingesting asbestos are:

  • Mesothelioma, a condition for which asbestos is the only known cause
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer

While the human body is capable of fighting the effects of a small amount of asbestos, significant asbestos particles can end up scarring the lungs and changing cells in a way that makes them susceptible to cancer.

Most people do not realize just how prevalent asbestos is today despite well-established links to lung cancer and other health conditions. The United States has imported more than 6,000 tons of asbestos since 2011. Asbestos is used in many materials where insulation and resistance to corrosion and heat are important. Some material where asbestos may be present include:

  • Attic and wall insulation
  • Vinyl flooring or other vinyl materials
  • Pipe insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Insulation around furnaces

These are just some of the more common locations where asbestos may be found, but the cancer-causing mineral is also present throughout schools, places of work, and homes still today, unbeknownst to most of those who occupy such buildings.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer or another lung disease and believe that asbestos exposure may be a cause, you could be entitled to financial awards. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your case.

What Are the First Signs of Asbestos Exposure?

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs naturally in rock and soil and is used in many building materials because of its resistance to heat and corrosion. However, asbestos has also been directly linked to several potentially fatal lung conditions, including lung cancer.

Unfortunately, many victims of asbestos poisoning are not aware of their condition until it progresses to the stage of lung cancer. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms, seek medical attention. If you have lung cancer potentially caused by asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to financial compensation if the liable party did not properly inform you of the risk of asbestos exposure.

You may not understand how the exposure to asbestos occurred, but it is our job to investigate. You may also be unaware that there is no ban on using asbestos in the United States. Because of its flame- and corrosion-retardant properties, asbestos may be present in various places in a structure where you have lived or worked, including:

  • Insulation in walls and/or attics
  • Insulation around pipes
  • Insulation around furnaces and other heated devices
  • Vinyl flooring
  • Certain types of roofing and/or shingles
  • Heat-resistant fabrics

Though the link to lung disease is well-established and legislation such as the EPA's Clean Air Act of 1973 have limited the use of certain forms of asbestos, there is no widespread ban on the fibrous mineral. Some groups may be at an increased risk of breathing asbestos dust or particles, which emerge when handling the asbestos, especially when broken apart.

Anyone who spends time in a building containing asbestos that was improperly installed may be at risk of developing lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Caused by Asbestos Exposure

The Clean Air Act of 1973 outlawed asbestos as a building material, but it did not eliminate all asbestos-containing materials. You may risk developing certain lung diseases from exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is the only known cause of a very specific type of cancer known as mesothelioma, which often affects the lungs.

You can learn more about mesothelioma cancer and exposure to asbestos, a white fiber-like material throughout our website. Our seasoned mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are more than prepared to handle mesothelioma and asbestos-related injury cases.

Although smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer, asbestos is also one of the top causes of lung cancer today, despite being outlawed as a material in construction and other fields. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 45,000 people died from mesothelioma.

There are numerous types of lung disease, including cancers, that can develop due to breathing asbestos particles. These include:

  • Lung cancer due to exposure to asbestos
  • Mesothelioma, a specific type of lung cancer for which the only known cause is asbestos
  • Asbestosis

If your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer, including mesothelioma, you may want to consider exposure to asbestos as a potential cause. Certain subsets of the population may have a heightened risk of developing asbestos-induced lung cancer. These groups include:

  • Demolition crews
  • Pipefitters
  • Boilermakers
  • Painters
  • Firefighters
  • Insulators
  • Factory workers
  • Construction workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Navy veterans
  • Auto industry workers
  • Asbestos plant workers

Often, people are exposed to asbestos without their knowledge. In these instances, you may be eligible to collect damages from the responsible party if your exposure to asbestos resulted in illness, lung cancer included.

Asbestos-induced lung cancer can be very serious, as lung cancer is one of the cancers with lower-than-average survival rates. There are a few signs and symptoms of asbestos-induced lung cancer that you should be aware of, especially if you fall within a group that has an elevated risk of asbestos exposure.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention. If your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer, and you believe exposure to asbestos may be a cause, then you may be entitled to financial compensation.

How Long does It Take to Get Lung Cancer from Asbestos?

Asbestos is a material often used in construction. If inhaled or ingested in significant amounts, asbestos can cause certain lung ailments including lung cancer. Asbestos has a long history of causing cancer. While the use of asbestos is partially restricted, the United States has yet to ban it entirely.

The National Cancer Institute reports that it can take between 10 and 40 years (or even longer) for symptoms of asbestos-related diseases to appear. This extended time period does not make asbestos less dangerous. This can actually make it deadlier, as people often only show symptoms when the disease has progressed.

The primary lung conditions associated with asbestos exposure are:

  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis
  • Mesothelioma, for which the only known cause is asbestos

If you regularly interacted with asbestos and have lung cancer, you may be entitled to financial damages. If you are not in one of these groups, you could still be at risk for asbestos poisoning leading to lung cancer. Your exposure increases if you live, work, or spend significant time in a structure that contains old or improperly installed asbestos.

Many victims of asbestos poisoning do not realize they have suffered toxic exposure until a more serious condition such as lung cancer arises. Keep an eye out for symptoms of lung cancer and seek immediate medical attention if any of the signs arise.

What Is the Average Settlement for Lung Cancer Caused by Asbestos Exposure?

Each case of asbestos exposure that leads to lung cancer is unique, and the awards will depend directly on the specifics of your case.

If we can prove that exposure to asbestos may have caused or contributed to your lung cancer, then you have the right to pursue compensation.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that occurs naturally in rock and soil. It is resistant to heat and corrosion and has been a material of choice for homes and other physical structures for decades. However, evidence from as far back as the 1930s shows asbestos miners contracting lung cancer at an abnormal rate, and legislation such as the Clean Air Act of 1970 limited the use of asbestos in certain forms.

However, asbestos is still not banned in the United States, and an estimated 30 million homes (and countless other physical structures) may contain asbestos. Some places you may find asbestos-containing materials include:

  • Insulation around pipes, in attics and walls, and in areas around heat-emitting devices
  • Vinyl flooring or other vinyl materials
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Certain types of shingles and roofing

Asbestos can be safe if installed properly and if it is fairly new. However, breathing the fibers and dust that come from fraying asbestos particles is dangerous and can eventually lead to lung cancer.

Anyone who lives, works, or spends significant time in a structure containing asbestos could be at risk of developing a serious lung condition, namely lung cancer. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of lung cancer and consider that asbestos exposure may be the cause, seek medical treatment.

Lung Cancer Lawyer Q&A

Is my landlord liable for my damages if I get lung cancer due to asbestos in my home?

If you are renting a house and get lung cancer due to asbestos, your landlord may be liable. You would have to be living there for many years, however. Then, whoever installed it, may be liable for your injury. Our firm has not seen a lawsuit against a landlord. However, it is theoretically possible. We would have to prove that there was asbestos in the home and how long did you lived there, but such a case would not be out of the question.

What types of lung cancers does asbestos cause?

Asbestos exposure can cause any type of lung cancer. The two broad classifications of lung cancer are non-small cell and small cell, which are subcategorized by cell type. People with a smoking history are more susceptible to asbestos-related lung cancer. Asbestos also causes pleural mesothelioma, which forms in the lining outside the lungs and is not considered lung cancer.

Does everyone exposed to asbestos get lung cancer?

Not every person exposed to asbestos will develop lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases. A person's risk of illness will increase relative to their level of exposure to asbestos. Frequent and extended periods of concentrated asbestos exposure present the highest risk.

What is the difference between mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer?

All forms of lung cancer originate inside the lungs. Mesothelioma is also cancer, but it develops in the tissue that lines the outside of the lungs, chest cavity and abdomen. Asbestos exposure can cause both types of illness.

Call Boling Law Firm for Help With Your Case

If you or a loved one developed lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure, speak with a lawyer from Boling Law Firm about your case today.

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