Asbestos fibers are indestructible, which seemingly made them useful in building and construction. However when asbestos fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled or ingested and cause inflammation that can lead to several types of cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer, financial compensation may be available.
Types of Cancer Caused by Asbestos
Since asbestos is incredibly durable, it is not possible for the body to break its fibers down. Once the fibers enter, they will not leave a person’s body.
Even one single fiber can cause the rare cancer mesothelioma as well as other types of asbestos-related cancers and diseases.
Call Sokolove Law right now at (800) 647-3434 if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.
Malignant mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers get stuck in the lining of major organs. There are four known types of mesothelioma, and all of them are potentially fatal:
- Pleural Mesothelioma: The most common form of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdomen, causing fluid buildup and pain
- Pericardial Mesothelioma: This rare type of mesothelioma forms around the lining of the heart, making it hard to treat properly
- Testicular Mesothelioma: In very rare cases, testicular mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers can attack the lining of the testes
As a national asbestos exposure law firm, Sokolove Law has been fighting on behalf of mesothelioma patients for over 40 years, helping them recover compensation to pay for treatment.
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Asbestos Lung Cancer
Asbestos-related lung cancer can occur if asbestos fibers get trapped in your lungs. The asbestos fibers can cause long-term inflammation that leads to cancer.
The two types of asbestos-related lung cancer are classified by cell type:
- Small Cell Lung Cancer: This form of lung cancer is more aggressive, but it also responds better to treatment. Only 10-15% of all lung cancer cases are small cell lung cancer.
- Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Non-small cell lung cancer makes up 85-90% of all lung cancer. This form of lung cancer doesn’t grow as fast. However, it is less responsive to current treatment options. There are a few different subtypes based on the shape and size of the cells.
Even long-term smokers diagnosed with lung cancer may qualify for compensation if they were also exposed to asbestos.
Gastrointestinal cancer refers to a group of different cancers that forms in the digestive system. Asbestos exposure has consistently been linked with gastrointestinal cancers.
Gastrointestinal cancers particularly linked with asbestos exposure include:
- Esophageal cancer
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Stomach cancer
Studies suggest that oral ingestion or inhalation of asbestos fibers may be responsible for this link to gastrointestinal cancers.
Esophageal cancer (or throat cancer) is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the throat or esophagus.
Two common types of throat cancer include:
- Laryngeal cancer (cancer cells in the tissue of your larynx or voice box): There’s sufficient evidence tying asbestos exposure to this type of throat cancer.
- Pharyngeal cancer (cancer in the pharynx): Some studies have linked pharyngeal cancer to asbestos exposure, though the evidence is only suggestive and requires further research.
Colon cancer occurs when tumorous growths develop in the colon or large intestine. Studies have suggested that workplace exposure to asbestos is linked to colon cancer.
The cause of this link is still relatively unknown. However, swallowing asbestos fibers — by ingesting asbestos-contaminated water or foods cooked with contaminated water or by coughing up inhaled fibers and then swallowing them — may contribute to an increased risk of colon cancer.
Rectal cancer (also called colorectal cancer) develops when cancerous tumors grow in the rectum, which makes up the last several inches of the large intestines at the end of the digestive tract.
Like colon cancer, an increased risk of rectal cancer is linked to the consumption or ingestion of asbestos fibers, which get caught in the digestive tract after being swallowed.
Stomach cancer is an abnormal growth of cancerous cells that can start in any part of the stomach. Some studies show that exposure to asbestos is linked to a moderately increased risk of this type of gastrointestinal cancer, usually through:
- Occupational exposure
- Drinking asbestos-contaminated water
- Swallowing asbestos fibers
Learn More About Your Options
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Take the first steps toward justice.
The Link Between Asbestos and Cancer
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been in commercial use for hundreds of years. Because it is very durable and resists fire, water, and electricity, asbestos was used to build houses, ships, and countless other products.
However, the truth remains: There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, and there never has been.
“Asbestos and all commercial forms of asbestos are known to be human carcinogens based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans.”
– National Toxicology Program
Unfortunately, many occupations in the 20th century exposed workers to asbestos products. These workers never imagined their livelihood would put them at an increased risk of cancer. Decades after the fact, these workers are now getting sick.
Even worse, many companies that manufactured asbestos-containing products knew of the dangers that asbestos posed but chose not to warn anyone. These companies prioritized profits over the safety of their workers and the public.
Their negligence and corporate greed are why thousands of men and women who developed asbestos-related cancer may now be eligible for compensation.
Diagnosed with Asbestos-Related Cancer?
For over 40 years, Sokolove Law has fought for victims of asbestos exposure. Request a free case review today to see if you’re eligible for compensation.
How Asbestos Causes Cancer
When an asbestos-containing product or material is broken, disturbed, or destroyed, asbestos fibers are released into the air around them. If these fibers are breathed in or swallowed, they will enter the body and get stuck.
Asbestos fibers can get trapped inside:
- One or both lungs
- The protective lining of the lungs (pleura)
- The chest wall or protective abdominal lining
- The heart’s protective lining
- Other areas of the body, including the larynx and ovaries
Sadly, most people who are exposed to asbestos will not notice or feel any health effects at first. This is because it typically takes between 20-50 years for asbestos-related cancer to develop after someone was first exposed to the carcinogen.
Early on, asbestos fibers will only cause mild irritation and inflammation. However, long-term irritation from asbestos causes scarring, pain, and fluid buildup in the affected areas.
Eventually, this damage causes cells to mutate and grow at an out-of-control rate. The more you were exposed to asbestos, the greater your risk of developing asbestos-related cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Contact Sokolove Law at (800) 647-3434 if you were exposed and diagnosed with an asbestos cancer.
Asbestos Cancer Risk Factors
Simply being exposed to asbestos is only one part of a much larger issue. While anyone who has been exposed to asbestos is at risk of developing cancer, some factors increase your risk.
These factors include:
- Repeated Asbestos Exposure: People who regularly came into contact with asbestos fibers are at a higher risk of developing cancer. Repeated exposure typically comes from working at a certain kind of job site. However, it may also come from a school or home. The greatest risk is for those who were regularly exposed over several months or years.
- Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use: Though not direct causes of asbestos-related cancers, tobacco and drug use, smoking, and drinking alcohol, can increase a person’s odds of developing asbestos-related cancers when they have been exposed to asbestos fibers.
Asbestos Cancer Diagnosis
In many cases, asbestos-related cancer may not be detected by doctors right away. The cancers associated with asbestos may mimic other, more common illnesses. This can lead to serious health complications, as you may be treated for an illness you may or may not have.
Doctors will use X-rays, imaging tests like CT scans, and biopsies (where samples of tissue are studied) to see if cancerous masses are present.
Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms, it is a good idea to see a doctor early on. Make sure to tell them about your asbestos exposure history and other relevant health information. This way, they can take a proactive approach to your care.
Sokolove Law has registered nurses on staff who can help you understand your asbestos cancer diagnosis and treatment options.
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Getting Financial Help for Asbestos Cancer
If you or someone you love has developed cancer from asbestos, the time to act is now. Because asbestos-related cancers sneak up on those affected, many families are not able to prepare for the costs of treatments, medications, and surgeries that follow a diagnosis.
When you partner with Sokolove Law, you will work with an asbestos law firm that has over 40 years of experience handling asbestos cancer claims. We do all of the heavy legal lifting, so you can focus on the important things in life.
Our asbestos attorneys may be able to:
- File the asbestos exposure lawsuit on your behalf
- Negotiate an asbestos case settlement with the defendant(s) in your case
- Prepare VA benefit claims for veterans with asbestos-related diseases
- Submit claims with any asbestos trust funds set up by bankrupt companies
With our help, you may be able to receive compensation that can help pay for medical treatments and provide your with financial security.
To get started, call (800) 647-3434 or fill out our brief contact form. Our team can answer any questions you may about your asbestos-related cancer diagnosis and the legal process.
Asbestos-Related Cancer FAQs
Can asbestos cause breast cancer?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), there is a possible link between exposure to asbestos and an elevated risk for breast cancer. However, the extent of this correlation is not yet fully understood.
Some studies have determined that there are higher rates of breast cancer among women who have been exposed to asbestos — but this link has not been conclusively proven.
Researchers are still determining how asbestos can affect breast tissue in both women and men.
Can asbestos cause prostate cancer?
Asbestos is a potential risk factor of prostate cancer. However, no conclusive results have been found, and researchers are still studying possible correlations.
While family history is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer, other studies have determined additional risk factors to be: ethnicity, diet, environment, and age.
Can asbestos cause colon cancer?
Potentially. Asbestos exposure is linked to several different types of cancer. Studies suggest that being exposed to asbestos for long periods of time may result in cancers of the throat, stomach, colon, rectum, and ovaries.
This link is not yet clear, and it is also unclear how asbestos affects the risk of these cancers.
Can asbestos cause leukemia?
Leukemia is one of the most common occupational cancers, meaning the disease is caused by exposure to cancer-causing substances at work.
While mesothelioma — another common occupational cancer — is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos, leukemia is usually linked to exposure to ionizing radiation and chemicals like benzene, ethylene oxide, and formaldehyde.
Some studies suggest that workers in industrial settings are at higher risk of contracting leukemia through exposure to asbestos. However, more research is needed to confirm this link.
How does asbestos cause cancer?
When inhaled or swallowed, asbestos fibers irritate and scar the lungs. The body responds by surrounding the foreign fibers in protective cells.
However, the asbestos fibers can cause mutations in these protective cells, causing them to grow out of control. Over several decades, mesothelioma or other cancers can develop.
Though the link between asbestos and cancer is still being researched, the World Health Organization (WHO), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and many other major organizations classify asbestos as a human carcinogen or cancer-causing substance.