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Asbestos Related Lung Cancer

What is asbestos lung cancer?

Asbestos related lung cancer is a rare form of lung cancer. Typically, lung cancer will develop within 20 years of exposure but, like mesothelioma, the development period for asbestos lung cancer can be longer and is often usually diagnosed at a late stage.

How is asbestos lung cancer caused?

It’s caused when asbestos dust and fibre enters the lung and becomes lodged in the lung tissue itself. Heavy asbestos exposure over a long period of time can be a contributing factor. Smoking is commonly the main cause of lung cancer, but other asbestos conditions like lung fibrosis (asbestosis) can lead to lung cancer

Who is at risk of asbestos lung cancer?

Smokers who have been heavily exposed to asbestos are 50 times more likely to develop asbestos lung cancer compared to non-smokers. Tradespeople in the construction, maintenance or demolition industries are most at risk.

What patient support is available?

Local support groups can provide help and advice to those suffering from asbestos related diseases and their families. The London Asbestos Support Awareness Group (LASAG) is a charity that operates across London and the South East. Their advisors can help by visiting at home and can be contacted by telephone. Their services are free.

London Asbestos Support Awareness Group: Freephone: 0808 278 251

What asbestos lung cancer treatment is available?

Your medical team will provide advice on the best treatment plan for you. Options include:

  • Chemotherapy: A course of specialist anti-cancer drugs are used to destroy cancer cells
  • Radiotherapy: High-energy rays given externally or internally kill cancer cells
  • Surgery: Complete removal of the affected area(s) to keep the disease under control
  • Photodynamic therapy: A combination of a light sensitising drug and a very bright light
  • Laser therapy: Uses a focused laser beam to target and illuminate the cancer cells
  • Microwave Ablation: uses high frequency microwave energy to kill cancer cells
  • Radiofrequency ablation: uses heat made by radio waves to treat cancer.
  • Diathermy: uses an electrical current to destroy cancer cells

Are financial benefits available?

You may be eligible for benefits, these include:

  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB): If you were exposed to asbestos during your employed work and suffer one of a number of certain asbestos related conditions, including asbestosis you can claim a weekly pension.
  • Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979: This scheme makes a lump sum payment that you may be entitled to if you are awarded IIDB.
  • War Pensions Scheme. If you were exposed to asbestos during service there are payments available depending on your circumstances.

You may also be entitled to claim other state benefits if you have difficulty walking or need help looking after yourself, for example:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP): a benefit for people aged under 65
  • Attendance Allowance: a benefit for people aged 65 or older.
  • Carer’s Allowance: a benefit for a carer looking after a disabled person.
  • Blue Badge Scheme: Disabled parking badge.

Industrial injury benefits are not means-tested. They could, however, have an effect on other means-tested benefits you may receive.

Can I claim compensation?

It is possible to claim civil compensation for asbestos related lung cancer.
You will need to be able to prove that your employers or occupier negligently exposed you to asbestos at a time when they knew or should have known that such exposure was liable to cause injury.

You will need to have a clear diagnosis of the condition so that the link to the disease and your exposure to asbestos can be made.

Asbestos lung cancer is not thought to be dose related but the condition is known as a divisible injury, which means that every exposure to asbestos contributes to the overall extent of disability.

How much is my claim worth?

Each claim is individual and the value depends upon a range of circumstances such as age, length of time suffering from symptoms, extent of care needs past and future, and possible losses of earnings or pension.

We visit our clients at home to personally assess the needs of you and your family.

What are the time limits to bring a claim?

An injured person has three years from the date of knowledge of injury to issue court proceedings. This period is not always the date of diagnosis and runs from the date they knew or “should have known” that their injury was related to exposure to asbestos. This “should have known” issue can cause difficulties in disease cases.

The three year limitation will run from the date that the sufferer is aware of any injury caused by asbestos. You can only bring one claim for all asbestos injury.

Although it is possible to seek discretion to bring a late claim a lot depends on the circumstances and it will not always be given.

If someone dies of asbestos disease then their partner or next of kin can bring a claim and the time limit will start to run again from the date of death, providing the original 3 years has not expired.

Download our Asbestos Related Disease guide

Our Industrial Disease Solicitors are backed by four decades of experience. Our legal practice and team of London Solicitors have a strong track record of achieving favourable client outcomes. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0800 437 0322 today.

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