How is asbestos-related lung cancer diagnosed and staged?

Like other asbestos diseases, asbestos lung cancer symptoms usually become apparent after many years, sometimes only when the disease is at a very advanced stage. As a specialist firm of asbestos lung cancer claim solicitors, Asbestos Claim Centre represents individuals diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases so that they can secure the maximum compensation they are entitled to.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent cough and fatigue, you could be suffering from a number of ailments which may be totally unrelated to asbestos. However, you should visit your GP as a matter of urgency.

Diagnosing asbestos lung cancer

GPs will use a spirometer to measure lung function, whilst a blood sample will be taken to rule out other conditions, such as a chest infection. If the examination shows signs that an asbestos disease could be what you are suffering from, you are likely to be referred for further testing with a specialist.

There are a variety of methods used to diagnose lung cancer, these include:

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan
  • PET-CT scan
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Biopsy (including thoracoscopy and mediastinoscopy).

The stages of asbestos lung cancer

Following diagnosis, and to determine the best course of treatment for your asbestos-related condition, the stage of progression of the lung cancer must be determined.
Non-small cell lung cancer is staged from 1 to 4 depending on the size of the tumour and the extent of the spread of cancer cells.

At stage 1, tumour size should be no more than 3 to 5cm, whilst the nearby lymph nodes will remain unaffected by the cancer.

In stage 2, tumour size can reach 7cm and cancerous cells will have spread to the lymph nodes, bronchus and surrounding tissues. Multiple tumours may be present within the lungs.

Stages 3 and 4 sees the cancerous cells spread further to the lung membrane, chest and other areas of the body.

What happens next?

Following diagnosis and staging, a suitable course of treatment can be determined by specialists depending on the type, size, position and stage of the cancer. There are various treatments which can be explored, including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The patient's general health and well-being will also contribute to which combination of treatments is likely to prove most effective.

Can I make a claim?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to prove that lung cancer is a direct result of asbestos exposure; however, if you have worked in industries where asbestos exposure is prevalent you may wish to seek the advice of an asbestos compensation solicitor for advice on the possibility of making a claim.

Speak to a member of our team today by calling 0800 508 8747.

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