Causes and Risk Factors

The biggest risk factor for asbestos-related lung cancer is asbestos exposure, particularly long-term exposure. The National Cancer Institute confirmed that asbestos causes lung cancer in 1942. According to an international study for 2020, no other substance causes more occupationally linked lung cancer cases than asbestos. Experts estimate that asbestos accounts for over one-third of all occupational lung cancer cases. The risk of lung cancer also increases for asbestos-exposed workers who smoke. While smoking and asbestos exposure alone can increase cancer risk, together, they increase your risk even more.

1. Linking Lung Cancer to Asbestos

In 1997, experts established the “Helsinki Criteria.” These standards will help your doctor decide if asbestos is the primary cause of your lung cancer or chronic lung condition. The criteria include:

  • Latency period: The cancer developed at least ten years after asbestos exposure.
  • Evidence of exposure: There must be evidence of asbestos exposure, including higher than-usual asbestos fibers in the lung tissues, a diagnosis of asbestosis, or airborne asbestos exposure greater than 25 per milliliter of air per year. This level of exposure is typical of construction and shipbuilding work.

2. Mesothelioma vs. Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

While many people assume that mesothelioma is lung cancer, it isn’t. The most common type of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, not the lung tissue itself. The diseases are similar in that they take decades to develop but then spread quickly. However, asbestos exposure causes six times more lung cancer cases than mesothelioma. Lung cancer is the deadliest of all asbestos-related diseases.

Take our Asbestos Exposure Questionnaire to see if your cancer may be asbestos-related.  

Call the Madeksho Law Firm

You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma, or another asbestos-related health condition. In some cases, you may not even have to file a lawsuit. Call the Madeksho Law Firm today at 888-910-MESO (6376) to schedule your consultation. Your first visit is always free, and you don’t pay any fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.