Many people mistake mesothelioma and lung cancer for one and the same. While the two diseases are similar, they are not identical. Learn the difference between mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as which treatment may work best for you.
Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer. However, there are key differences between the two diseases, including the following.
Lung cancer can be caused by anything, including exposure to pollutants, cellular mutations, and smoking. Mesothelioma, on the other hand, is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos, a toxic silicate material.
Asbestos is most commonly found in the following:
- Construction materials produced before 1975
- Automobile clutches and brake pads
- Corrugated sheeting
- Imported cement pipe
- Roofing materials
Lung cancer grows inside the lungs, while mesothelioma affects the lining outside of the lungs, also known as the pleura. Mesothelioma can also develop in the lining of the abdomen, heart, or testes.
Lung cancer is much more common than mesothelioma. Lung cancer is the second-most common cancer in the country, with over 200,000 cases being diagnosed in the United States every year. Mesothelioma, on the other hand, only has about 2,800 malignant cases diagnosed every year.
Mesothelioma’s relative rarity does not diminish its lethality. Mesothelioma has a long latency period, which is the amount of time that passes between asbestos exposure and the appearance of symptoms. This often means that mesothelioma is not diagnosed until the later stages, at which point treatment becomes more difficult.
The treatment options for lung cancer and mesothelioma are similar. Most patients will undergo surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or some combination of the three.
- Surgery: Surgery is most often used when cancer is diagnosed in the earlier stages and the tumor can be completely removed through a procedure.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is an aggressive form of treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in the body. It’s not typically recommended for patients in poor health.
- Radiation: Radiation uses beams of intense energy to kill cancer cells. It may be better suited for patients who cannot undergo chemotherapy.
If you developed mesothelioma after asbestos exposure, our attorneys at Shrader & Associates L.L.P. can help you recover the compensation you need for medical bills and lost wages. You don’t have to go through this alone.
Call Shrader & Associates L.L.P. at (877) 958-7920 to schedule a consultation.