Smoking Plus Asbestos Exposure – A Deadly Combination
In 2004, the American Thoracic Society called asbestos “the largest cause of occupational cancer in the United States and a significant cause of disease and disability from nonmalignant disease.” Asbestos is a known carcinogen. It has been found to be the cause of many different cancers in those who were exposed to the popular building material including mesothelioma, lung cancer, colon and colorectal cancer, and throat cancer.
One of the first cancers to be linked to asbestos was lung cancer, as it kills as many as 10,000 Americans every year. An important contributing factor to many lung cancer cases is smoking. Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer in the United States, but if you smoke and have been exposed to asbestos, your risk of developing lung cancer increases dramatically. Smoking plus asbestos exposure increases your risk of developing lung cancer five or more times than smoking alone, with the risk increasing with heavier smoking. Many believe that because they were smokers, they are not entitled to compensation for their illness, but since asbestos exposure has been determined to be a major contributing factor in the development of lung cancer in smokers, smoking does not exempt any one suffering from an asbestos-related disease from filing a lawsuit.
It is true that while some have been exposed to asbestos for many years, they have not and will not develop any sort of lung disease or cancer. However, there are many who are not so fortunate. If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important that you advise your physician of this and receive regular check-ups to ensure you are not developing and asbestos-related condition. The latency period between time of initial exposure and illness can be anywhere from 10 years to 40 years or more and in most cases, the disease has progressed significantly by the time it is diagnosed.
Despite the increased risks, quitting smoking is still important among asbestos workers. Just as with their non-asbestos-exposed counterparts, the risk of developing lung cancer drops dramatically after quitting. Some studies have suggested the risk of developing illness drops as much as 50% within five years of kicking the habit.
Contact An Attorney
If you are suffering from an asbestos-caused illness like mesothelioma or lung cancer, it is important to contact a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible. With the statute of limitations being different in every state, time could limit your rights as to when you can file a claim. By contacting Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C., you are under no obligation to file a lawsuit, but you will be given the necessary information to make an informed decision. We have the manpower to take on the largest corporations in the industry, yet we are able to give the client the personal attention he or she deserves. Contact us today and learn more about what GPW can do for you.