Asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma are two different diseases
If you have been exposed to asbestos, you could be at risk for developing either mesothelioma or lung cancer, but most people don’t realize these are two entirely different illnesses.
These diseases are similar in that both can be caused by asbestos and can take years – decades even – to gestate and are often not diagnosed until late stages.
They are diagnosed using similar methods and are often treated similarly. But there are significant differences as well that include the following:
Difference in Regions of the Body Affected
When it comes to asbestos-induced illnesses and where they affect the body, you likely think of the lungs. With lung cancer (as the name indicates) this is the region of the body affected. And even when mesothelioma occurs in the lungs, it is different from lung cancer.
Lung cancer grows in the lungs themselves (one or both) while mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs. Mesothelioma, though, can grow in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart and other areas of the body.
Difference in Causes
When you think of asbestos illnesses, mesothelioma is the first disease that usually springs to mind. This is because it is most commonly linked to asbestos exposure and because the vast majority of mesothelioma cases are asbestos-induced. Lung cancer, though, can be caused by asbestos, tobacco use, genetic predisposition or other environmental factors.
Difference in Contributing Factors
Of all the health risks associated with smoking, lung cancer is what most people think of with good cause. For those that smoke and are also exposed to asbestos, the risk of developing lung cancer is as much as 50 times greater. Mesothelioma differs in this regard because smoking on top of the asbestos exposure does not increase the risk of developing this specific illness.
Difference in Time to Develop
Although both mesothelioma and lung cancer have long periods of gestation, lung cancer is the quicker to develop to the point that it can be diagnosed. Lung cancer will typically manifest anywhere from 10 to 30 years after asbestos exposure – usually sooner if tobacco use is also a factor. By contrast, mesothelioma has a longer gestation period and it can be 30-50 years from exposure to diagnosis.
Difference in Prognosis
Mesothelioma and lung cancer have similar short term survival rates but drastically different long term outcomes. Within the first year after diagnosis, mesothelioma has an approximate 42% survival rate while lung cancer is a bit lower at an average 39% survival rate. Within 10 years after diagnosis, lung cancer sufferers have more than double the survival odds of mesothelioma victims.
Bergman Draper Oslund Can Help You with your Mesothelioma Claim
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, Bergman Draper Oslund can help. We exclusively represent mesothelioma victims and have been doing so for more than 15 years. We have obtained more than $700 million in settlements for our clients and can help you as well. Contact us today for a free consultation about your illness and circumstances to see how we can best help you.