Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. This month is an important time to raise funds for lung cancer research and awareness for the disease. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the United States. Every year, 150,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed. Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Other risk factors for lung cancer include being exposed to secondhand smoke, having a family history of lung cancer, and exposure to asbestos.

Specific types of lung cancer have been directly associated with asbestos exposure and there is typically asbestosis present as well. Unfortunately, asbestos-related lung cancer can develop 20 or more years after initial asbestos exposure, making it, at times, hard to trace. 

selective focus photography of anatomy lungs

The likelihood of developing lung cancer after asbestos exposure is increased in individuals who have smoked in their lifetime.  While a person can develop lung cancer following exposure to asbestos, even if that person has no other risk factors, asbestos exposure in conjunction with cigarette smoking can increase the risk of lung cancer exponentially. Studies have shown that individuals who both smoked and have been exposed to asbestos are 50-90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than a person who neither smoked nor was exposed to asbestos. 

A smoker who was exposed to asbestos is five times more likely to develop lung cancer than a smoker who was not exposed to asbestos. Cigarette smokers who have been exposed to asbestos and develop lung cancer are still entitled to compensation for their damages.

white cigarette stick on white wall

Roughly a quarter of all lung cancer victims don’t show symptoms before they are diagnosed. This is why regular lung screenings can be beneficial in detecting cancer early. If you are at risk of developing an asbestos-related lung cancer you should look for the following symptoms:

  • Chest pains
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • A hoarse voice
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bronchitis

There are many individuals who were exposed to asbestos that are diagnosed with Asbestosis, (a non-malignant scaring of the lungs) every year in Michigan. What you might not know is that if you received a settlement for asbestosis, and years or decades later, you receive a diagnosis of Primary Lung Cancer or Mesothelioma, you or your family will be eligible to file a second disease case in the state of Michigan. Remember as to Lung Cancer, even if you are or were a heavy smoker and you develop Lung Cancer, Serling & Abramson, P.C. can assist you with a second case provided you were exposed to asbestos for an extended period of time.  If you believe you or a loved one are eligible for compensation, fill out a free case evaluation.