November is lung cancer awareness month. The campaign is now in its eighth year and aims to encourage people to see their doctor if they are suffering with potential symptoms of lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the biggest cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Almost 35,000 people each year die from lung cancer. As with many diseases, early diagnosis can improve treatment options and ultimately a patient’s prognosis.
Causes of lung cancer
As most people are aware, smoking is the most likely cause of lung cancer, however there are other causes. Exposure to second-hand smoke and radon gas can increase the risk of a person developing lung cancer. Exposure to asbestos is also often linked with the development of lung cancer. When asbestos dust or fibres are inhaled they can become trapped in the lungs. With regular exposure to asbestos they build up over time and scar and cause damage to the lungs. This can trigger the development of lung cancer many years after the exposure occurred. The average latency period between exposure to asbestos and onset of symptoms of lung cancer is between 15 and 35 years.
Symptoms of lung cancer
There are many symptoms which can be a sign of lung cancer. These include a new cough that does not go away, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain, fluid on the lungs (a pleural effusion), a hoarse voice, loss of weight, bone pain and headaches.
When to see your doctor
If any of the above symptoms persist or you are worried about your symptoms, arrange an appointment with your doctor.
Claiming for asbestos-related lung cancer
In order to claim compensation for lung cancer we have to show a very heavy history of exposure to asbestos. Common professions where such a link can be shown include laggers and those who have previously worked in asbestos factories.
The criteria used to assess whether there has been sufficient exposure to asbestos to link the lung cancer to asbestos exposure is called the Helsinki criteria. Under the criteria, it is widely accepted that a person must prove that they have been exposed to 25 fibre/ml years of asbestos. This equates to about a year of very heavy exposure, for example in the case of a lagger, or 5 to 10 years of more moderate asbestos exposure, such as that experienced by a worker cutting asbestos sheets.
At the outset of a potential claim we will discuss a person’s employment history and how they came to be exposed to asbestos. We will look at the extent of exposure to asbestos throughout a person’s working life and advise on the chances of proving that a diagnosis of lung cancer can be linked.
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.