Mesothelioma Attorneys

Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma

Asbestos Cancer Attorney

Pleural mesothelioma is sometimes referred to as asbestos lung cancer. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer, caused by asbestos exposure, which develops in the membrane which surrounds your internal organs. In pleural mesothelioma, the cancer develops in the lining of the lungs, rather than in the lungs themselves, but it often spreads and invades the lungs.

Primary or Secondary Lung Cancer

Primary lung cancer is cancer which develops in the lung tissue. Secondary lung cancer is cancer which develops in another part of the body and spreads to the lungs. When mesothelioma spreads to the lungs, it is secondary lung cancer. Mesothelioma is sometimes misdiagnosed as primary lung cancer. Medical tests can differentiate the two.

Although mesothelioma can become a form of lung cancer, mesothelioma and primary lung cancer require different medical treatments. In general, the prognosis is better in lung cancer than in mesothelioma. However, if mesothelioma is misdiagnosed as primary lung cancer, your treatment may not address all of the cancer and your narrow window of opportunity for successful treatment will pass before you find out which type of cancer you truly have.

The legal implications are also different. Primary lung cancer can have many causes, including asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure, so a mesothelioma diagnosis provides strong evidence that asbestos caused your illness. Proving that asbestos caused your cancer is crucial to obtaining compensation which can pay for your medical treatment and more.

Mesothelioma – Not Just the Lungs

Pleural mesothelioma is referred to as asbestos lung cancer because it affects the lung area. It is the most common type of mesothelioma, but you can have mesothelioma which affects other parts of the body. Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdomen and pericardial mesothelioma develops in the sac around the heart.

This can be very confusing to people who believe that mesothelioma is simply a form of lung cancer.

Not a “Smoker’s Disease”

It is often said that lung cancer research is underfunded because of its stigma as a smoker’s disease. Yet, lung cancer is increasingly found in people who have never smoked, and asbestos exposure is believed to be one reason why. Smoking can cause lung cancer, but it is far from the only cause.

Smoking does not cause mesothelioma. You must be exposed to asbestos to develop mesothelioma, whether you smoke or not. If you have been exposed to asbestos, smoking may increase your chance of developing mesothelioma.