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Lung Cancer Signs and Diagnosis

Did you work with asbestos? Watch for lung cancer symptoms.

Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the lung or lungs grow and divide uncontrollably, creating nodules (tumors).

People who worked in industries like manufacturing, shipbuilding, oil drilling and refining, and construction are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer due to widespread use of asbestos from the 1940s through the 1970s. To protect your health and finances, if you worked in any of these industries, it is important to understand the signs of lung cancer and to get a diagnosis as soon as possible.

The Ferrell Law Group is a national lung cancer and mesothelioma law firm that has helped victims of asbestos exposure and their families get the financial compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other damages. Our lung cancer lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. If you suspect you have lung cancer due to asbestos exposure, see a doctor, get a diagnosis, then contact the Ferrell Law Group for a free case consultation. We can explain your legal options and help you decide what to do next.

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer tumors make breathing difficult for victims. In general, there are two categories of lung cancer – small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is the more common type and includes large cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

There are four “stages” of lung cancer. Stages describe the extent or spread of the cancer within the lung and to other parts of the body. Stage 4 cancer is the most serious.

Signs of lung cancer

Lung cancer is often detected when doctors are testing for something seemingly unrelated to your lungs, like abdominal pain or injury. But the sooner you detect it, the less damage it may be able to do. Here are some signs of lung cancer to watch out for:

  • Painful breathing
  • Coughing that gets worse or doesn’t go away
  • Wheezing
  • Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) in the chest and between the lungs
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling weak
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood or rust colored sputum (phlegm)
  • Fatigue or tiredness all the time
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss with no known cause
  • Multiple bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis

If lung cancer spreads to other part of the body, symptoms may include bone pain in the back or hip, headaches, dizziness, swelling of lymph nodes above the neck or collarbone (clavicle).

If you recognize these symptoms, see a doctor for a thorough medical examination as soon as possible.

How to get a lung cancer diagnosis

Only a doctor can diagnose lung cancer. If you suspect you have lung cancer, see a doctor right away for an exam. They may refer you to a pulmonologist – a doctor who specializes in treating lung problems.

Some steps that may be involved include:

  • Medical history and physical exam. Your doctor will want to know about your work and health history. They will ask about other health problems and risk factors. The doctor will conduct a physical examination and may take a blood sample. If they find something suspicious, body imaging may be ordered.
  • Body scans. To get a better look at your lungs, a doctor may order a chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI scan, or PET scan.
  • Lab sample. Signs of lung cancer can usually be identified in a scan or X-ray. However, to diagnose lung cancer, a cell sample must be studied in a lab. Cells are taken from the fluids you cough up, fluid removed from the area around your lungs, or a biopsy, which is a piece of tumor extracted with a needle.
  • Pathology report. Samples are sent to pathology labs where they undergo diagnostic testing. Your results will be delivered in a pathology report.
  • Further testing. If a doctor suspects your lung cancer has metastasized (spread) to other parts of your body, further testing may be needed. This may include an endobronchial ultrasound, endoscopic esophageal ultrasound, mediastinoscopy, mediastinotomy, or thoracoscopy.

What to do if you have lung cancer

If you worked around asbestos and have been diagnosed with any form of lung cancer, please reach out to us as soon as possible.

The Ferrell Law Group represents asbestos lung cancer victims in all 50 states, successfully negotiating and litigating claims. Our more than 30 years of experience with these complex cases allow us to offer compassionate client-focused representation.

If you have a lung cancer diagnosis and think you may have been exposed to harmful substances, contact us for a free case consultation.

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