As opposed to lung cancer, which develops in the lung, mesothelioma typically develops in the lining of the lung. It’s possible for other factors, including smoking, to cause mesothelioma, although this cancer is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. In contrast, many cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking along with exposure to second-hand smoke or environmental exposure to radon gas. The combination of asbestos exposure and smoking tremendously increases a person’s chance of developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Approximately 80 percent of mesothelioma cases result from exposure to asbestos. It generally takes between 20 and 50 years for someone to develop mesothelioma after they are exposed to asbestos. Alternatively, the same source indicates, just four percent of lung cancer deaths are due to asbestos exposure, and 80 percent of lung cancer-related deaths stem from tobacco use. Among lung cancer patients, 12 percent of deaths are due to radon. It often takes a shorter amount of time for someone to develop lung cancer, as it can begin to cause symptoms between 10 and 30 years after the lungs are first exposed to cigarette smoke or asbestos.
What separates mesothelioma patients from lung cancer patients is the fact that in many instances, those who were exposed to asbestos did not know it at the time. These individuals, both men and women, often worked with or near products containing asbestos for years on end. While it’s believed that the manufacturers of the products knew they were potentially putting people in danger, knowing that asbestos products could potentially cause cancer, they did not try to come up with an alternative solution. Fight Mesothelioma is one organization that works directly with individuals who have suffered from asbestos exposure, or know someone who has been affected. Mesothelioma lawsuits require the appropriate legal and medical teams to support mesothelioma-stricken individuals who may have been exposed at work.
Decades ago, asbestos companies continued to legally produce cancer-causing materials one year after the next. It takes years for asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, to appear after asbestos fibers are ingested or inhaled. As a result, many people who ultimately suffered from mesothelioma did not immediately recognize their previous exposure to it as a likely cause of their illnesses.
Chemotherapy is often used to treat lung cancer and mesothelioma. Another common choice of treatment is radiation. Surgery is generally not an option for individuals suffering from either mesothelioma or lung cancer unless the disease is detected in very early stages. It’s possible for those suffering from either type of cancer to participate in clinical trials, which often include novel drugs.
See Also: Radon Resources