Asbestos Lung Cancer

In addition to mesothelioma, asbestos is known to cause other forms of lung cancer.

Studies have shown that the inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to lung cancer.[1] In general, studies show that the greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the risk of lung cancer. Most lung cancer in people exposed to asbestos in the workplace occurs about 15 years after exposure. Workers who smoke have an even greater risk of developing lung cancer as a result of the combination of tobacco-use and asbestos exposure.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classifies asbestos as carcinogenic to humans as does the National Toxicology Program in the United States and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Types of Asbestos Lung Cancer

There are two main classifications of lung cancer – small cell and non-small cell – along with various subsets in each classification. (should we call out which forms of meso are associated with each classification?)

Small Cell Lung Cancer accounts for up to 15 percent of all lung cancer cases.[2] Generally speaking, it is more aggressive than non-small cell cancer, and can therefore be more difficult to treat. Unfortunately, due to its aggressive nature, surgery typically isn’t an option for this type of cancer.[3] Doctors often will utilize chemotherapy and radiation to attempt to kill the cancer cells and prevent the cancer from spreading.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer accounts for the vast majority of lung cancer cases.[4] There are three major subtypes of this form of cancer: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell and large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma. Treatments typically include surgery to remove the cancerous cells at early stages and a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and targeted therapy at more advanced stages.[5]

I worked with or around asbestos and developed lung cancer. What are my options?

From a legal standpoint, people diagnosed with non-mesothelioma asbestos lung cancer may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturers of asbestos products they were exposed to and past employers.

If you developed lung cancer from asbestos exposure, we urge you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation so that we may take a look at your potential case and let you know if we believe you have a viable claim.

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