Lung cancer remains the leading cause of death for all cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. About 14 percent of all new cancers are lung cancers. The prognosis for lung cancer remains bleak if diagnosed at stage 3 or 4. If detected earlier, the prognosis is much better – meaning people should be aware of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer.
Many non-smokers think lung cancer will never affect them
While lung cancer is deadly and common, there tends to be more apathy regarding lung cancer then other forms of cancer. This is commonly attributed to people believing that lung cancer is only a smoker’s disease.
While smoking is certainly a cause of lung cancer (lung cancer risk increases dramatically with smoking) it is by no means the only way for a person to get lung cancer.
If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer
Many cases of lung cancer occur in non-smokers. There are also other known causes of lung cancer. One of those is asbestos exposure. While asbestos is commonly associated with mesothelioma, the cancer of the lining of the lungs, lung cancer itself is also a risk with asbestos exposure.
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer
While lung cancer is just one of a number of respiratory illnesses associated with asbestos exposure, people who have been exposed should be careful to monitor for these symptoms of lung cancer:
- A persistent cough
- Chest pain, especially if it increases with deep breaths
- Repeated lung infections
- Unexplained weight loss
If you may have been exposed . . .
The above symptoms can indicate a number of illnesses, some of which are more serious than others. Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos should follow up with their doctor about these symptoms and any other respiratory issues.
For people who do suffer from lung cancer and mesothelioma, there are legal options available to help pay for associated medical costs and other expenses.