November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, an initiative started by a coalition of leading international research and advocacy organisations. Their aim each November is to get together to attempt to improve outcomes for lung cancer patients across the world.
The campaign encourages people with potential symptoms of lung cancer such as a persistent cough, breathlessness or unexplained weight loss, to see a doctor. Their encouragement is aimed at increasing the early detection of lung cancer which in turn improves the treatment options and subsequent prognosis.
Lung cancer is not just a smokers’ disease
The campaign also tries to dispel myths associated with lung cancer in the hope for early detection and treatment. Lung cancer is very often associated with smoking. However, one out of every seven people diagnosed with lung cancer each year have never smoked. Everyone is at risk of lung cancer and with 44,000 new cases diagnosed each year, it is the most common cause of death due to cancer in the UK, and indeed globally.
As well as smoking, passive smoking increases the risk of someone developing lung cancer. However, another real risk factor is exposure to chemicals in the workplace or environment. This could be exposure to radon, diesel exhaust fumes or, more historically, asbestos.
Lung cancer and asbestos exposure
The link between developing lung cancer and exposure to asbestos can be made where someone has been very heavily exposed to asbestos in the past. The types of profession we see this level of exposure being demonstrated in are laggers, asbestos factory workers and demolition workers. For several decades, people in these professions were being exposed to huge amounts of asbestos on a daily basis, and sadly, due to the long latency period between exposure and onset of symptoms, the damage is only now being seen.
We get numerous enquiries from people exposed to asbestos in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and now suspecting that they may have asbestos-related lung cancer. If the link can be proven, on the balance of probabilities, in many circumstances, compensation can be claimed.
Our experience in dealing with lung cancer claims shows us that both doctors and patients alike often believe that a smoking history means that nothing else has contributed to the diagnosis. However, this is often not the case. We recently wrote about lung cancer and the synergistic effect of both smoking and being diagnosed with lung cancer – link to article. The effect is that the two work together to increase the risk even further.
If you have been heavily exposed to asbestos in the past, whether you have been a smoker or not, the risk of lung cancer should be considered, and the potential link to asbestos exposure should be explored. If you have a valid claim for asbestos-related lung cancer compensation, your claim could be worth tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds.
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for lung cancer or other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.