Asbestos Lung Cancer Among Workers
Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of developing lung cancer. A very important point is that asbestos exposure and smoking act together to produce a huge risk of lung cancer in people exposed to both hazards.
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Asbestos Lung Cancer Explained
Most asbestos lung cancer starts in the lining of the bronchi, the tubes into which the trachea or windpipe divides.
Asbestos lung cancer can also begin in other areas such as the trachea, bronchioles (small branches of the bronchi), or alveoli (lung air sacs). Although lung cancer usually develops slowly, once it occurs, cancer cells can break away and spread to other parts of the body.
The two most common types of lung cancer are:
- small cell lung cancer (SCLC) where the cancer cells are small and round
- non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) where the cancer cells are larger.
Sometimes a cancer has features of both types, and is called mixed small cell/large cell cancer.
Non–small cell lung cancer accounts for almost 80% of lung cancers. Small cell lung cancer accounts for about 20% of all lung cancers.
Although the cancer cells are small, they can multiply quickly and form large tumors. The tumors can spread to the lymph nodes and to other organs.
Early–stage asbestos lung cancer may be asymptomatic (without symptoms). The methods used to diagnose asbestos lung cancer include imaging tests, biopsies, and taking phlegm (spit) samples.
If you think you have been exposed to asbestos and would like legal advice, contact a member of our mesothelioma and asbestos claims team by any of the below:
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
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