November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness of lung cancer and encourage people with symptoms, such as persistent cough, breathlessness or unexplained weight loss, to visit their GP.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of death from cancer for both men and women, and early detection of lung cancer makes it more treatable.
What causes asbestos-related lung cancer?
The cause of most lung cancers is smoking. However, lung cancer can also be caused by exposure to asbestos.
If you have been exposed to asbestos and have smoked, you are at a greater risk of developing lung cancer.
Asbestos-related lung cancer is caused by inhaling asbestos, a naturally occurring material which was once widely used in industries such as shipbuilding, construction and the railways to provide insulation, fire prevention, roofing and flooring.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is dangerous when it is disturbed or damaged, releasing thousands of tiny fibres into the air. When these fibres and dust particles are inhaled or ingested, they can cause serious damage to the inside of the body.
Asbestos exposure can lead to diseases including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and pleural thickening, as well as asbestos-related lung cancer.
The use of asbestos was finally banned in the UK by the 1990s. However, it can take many years for asbestos diseases, like asbestos-related lung cancer, to develop. This means that many people who were exposed to asbestos at the peak of its use (between the 1950s and 1980s) are only now getting diagnosed with serious asbestos diseases.
These days, you are only likely to come into contact with asbestos if it is disturbed or damaged. However, it is estimated that around 300,000 public buildings contain asbestos, and there is no clear plan for its removal.
What is the difference between asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma?
Asbestos lung cancer is different to mesothelioma, an incurable cancer also caused by asbestos.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the body’s organs and usually affects the lining of the lungs. However, asbestos-related lung cancer affects the lung tissue cells causing them to grow abnormally and increase forming tumours.
Asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma have similar symptoms. Getting an early diagnosis is vital.
Asbestos-related lung cancer symptoms
It’s important to know the symptoms if you or a loved one becomes unwell so that you can access support as quickly as possible. Asbestos-related lung cancer symptoms include:
- A persistent cough, trouble breathing or wheeziness
- Chest pain
- Swelling around the face and neck
- Coughing up blood or bloody mucus
- Unexplained weight loss
These symptoms might not develop until you’ve had asbestos-related lung cancer for a while. If you are aware that you have been exposed to asbestos in the past, you might want to take extra precautions, like frequent health screenings. This could mean that if you develop an asbestos-related disease, it will be detected earlier on in its development.
Is compensation available for asbestos lung cancer?
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer in the last 3 years, you may be able to make a claim for asbestos compensation.
Novum Law has a team of solicitors specialising in asbestos compensation claims and have helped many people diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer.
Our asbestos lawyers can also help you make a claim on behalf of a loved one who has already died from lung cancer.
Legal help for asbestos lung cancer patients
Rebecca Ryan is a solicitor in our Bristol team. She specialises in asbestos diseases, including asbestos-related lung cancer and says:
“Asbestos-related lung cancer is a devastating condition. It can be even more upsetting to patients and their families when they’re aware that their cancer has been caused by the negligent action of another party, such as an employer who exposed them to asbestos without providing proper protective equipment.”
“At Novum Law, our expert lawyers understand how challenging an asbestos lung cancer diagnosis can be. Compensation might not be at the front of your mind when you or a loved one is battling lung cancer, but it can help you and your loved ones access proper care and support.”
“We will always stand with our clients every step of the way to ensure that they can access the compensation and justice they deserve.”
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Novum Law’s team of specialist asbestos and mesothelioma solicitors can help on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis so that you are able to access the support you need.
To find out more, call us for free on 0800 884 0777, email us at email@example.com or complete our online enquiry form for a free, no-obligation chat.