Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Can lung cancer be caused by asbestos?
If the hazardous mineral asbestos is disturbed and creates dust, then asbestos fibres can be inhaled and enter the lungs. These fibres attack the cells, resulting in lung damage and scarring. The more prolonged the exposure, whether it was heavy or light, the more scarring develops. This is then a major trigger for developing asbestos lung cancer.
Even though asbestos is no longer used, those who remain working in construction, the demolition industry or maintenance could still come into contact with the mineral, as it remains to be found in buildings that were put up before the year 2000.
The Health and Safety Executive has reported that around 20 tradesmen are killed each week due to asbestos fibres being inhaled. Constant exposure and inhalation at work can lead to the development of asbestos-related lung cancer, which is usually fatal.
With the death rate increasing, it could also be affecting people who used to work in environments containing the hazardous dust many years ago, as it could take up to between 20 and 60 years to develop. In any case, the employer has an obligatory 'duty of care' to you and should be doing their utmost to follow health and safety regulations to protect you. If this hasn’t been the case and you have developed asbestos lungs, then it is likely that you have suffered negligence and might be able to make a compensation claim.
Other than lung cancer, asbestos lung diseases could be contracted, such as asbestosis, pleural thickening or fibrosis. Another form of asbestos-related cancer commonly known is mesothelioma. It is vital to be aware of this and receive training and protection if you work in such industries.
Secondary lung cancer
Lung cancer is one of the most commonly occurring types of cancer suffered by people in the UK, with over 40,000 being newly diagnosed every year. There are two types: primary and secondary.
Primary lung cancer defines the condition that actually began to develop in the lungs. In the situation where cancer originated in another part of the body and has spread to the lungs, this is known as secondary lung cancer.
Some other asbestos-related cancers are laryngeal and ovarian cancer, which could later spread to the lungs; meaning that it would be secondary.
Whether primary or secondary lung cancer, it could still have been triggered by dangerous chemical exposure at work, in which case, it is unlikely that you were protected.
Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
The diagnosis and symptoms of asbestos-related lung cancer are similar to other lung-related conditions. These consist of:
- A dry, persistent, hacking cough
- Coughing up blood
- Pain in the chest and/or shoulders
- Wheezing or hoarseness
- Chronic pulmonary and respiratory infections
- Constant fatigue
- Feeling weak
- Loss of appetite and weight
- Swelling of the face and/or neck
Generally, on reaching a later stage in lung cancer, these symptoms would then arise. People who have been exposed to asbestos in any way should make sure they get regular screening and health checks, as the symptoms of lung cancer rarely come to light during the early stages.
Making an asbestos-related lung cancer claim
More often than not, asbestos-related cancer is fatal and although a compensation amount would not cure the disease or help with easing physical or psychological suffering, it could help with reducing any financial stresses, such as covering medical care costs or helping those who care for you with any other expenses that have incurred due to the condition.
The dangers of asbestos have been widely known for years, so there is no excuse for employers not to protect you with necessary clothing and/or other protectors; they have a legal obligation to carry out regular risk assessments. With fatal illnesses, such as lung cancer, it should be their top priority.
If you feel they have failed to do this, or you are unsure, the best thing to do would be to contact the right people as soon as possible, to find out more.
Accident Line Direct
At Accident Line Direct, we operate our claims on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that you do not have to pay any fees unless your case is won. This means that you are not out of pocket or suffering any financial risks.
We appreciate that no amount of money will eliminate your condition or end your suffering, but we aim to find you some financial ease, by analysing and investigating your case. It is our priority to put you in touch with the best asbestos solicitor to make sure you receive a fair compensation amount.
If you would like to find out more, contact us for free today to speak to one of our advisors who have expert knowledge in this area and in making an asbestos-related claim.