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How Does Mesothelioma Differ from Lung Cancer?


Any time you’re dealing with lung disease, it is not only important to know what exactly to expect as far as symptoms and treatments go, but also what restitution options may be available.

Mesothelioma and lung cancer have similar symptoms, especially at the onset of the disease, but are caused by different factors. Hensley Legal Group deals strictly with mesothelioma cases because the condition typically originates in such a way that clearly differentiates it from the myriad of other long-term lung diseases.

How They Develop

old building

Smoking. If you’re looking for a cause that clearly leads to one disease, but not the other, then you’ve found your answer.

Nothing has such a direct link to lung cancer development as smoking. Cigarette smoke contains more than 70 carcinogenic substances. Smoking just one cigarette puts you at a markedly higher risk for lung cancer than if you hadn’t smoked at all. Even secondhand smoke is a risk factor for lung cancer.

If you’re a habitual smoker and you begin experiencing such as weight change, shortness of breath, and increased fatigue after activities that would have otherwise not drained you before, there’s a good chance your symptoms stem from lung cancer, and not mesothelioma.

However, if you’ve been exposed to asbestos on a worksite that still hasn’t replaced the material by the time you were there, then your lung cancer could be diagnosed as mesothelioma.

There is almost a direct correlation between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma (or a similar disease known as asbestosis) development. If you’ve worked in the construction industry or in the Navy, where asbestos-related incidents still occur, then your symptoms may point to mesothelioma.

How They Affect the Body

man breathing

Mesothelioma and lung cancer share symptoms, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Weight change
  • Increased fatigue after routine activities

Unfortunately, by the time you experience these symptoms, the disease may have progressed into advanced stages. Mesothelioma and lung cancer have similar cancer stages, with localized stages 1-3 affecting only the area from which they originated.

However, once both cancers reach stage 4 and beyond, their paths part. Lung cancer, like so many other malignant cancers, can spread beyond nearby lymph nodes to affect different parts of the body.

Mesothelioma can also spread, but it creates webs of tumors that tend to stay within the lung tissue and only occasionally spread to nearby bone.

If you discover your condition in its later stages, knowing how it has or hasn’t spread is vital in understanding what you’re facing.

Help from a Mesothelioma Lawyer

Mesothelioma is serious and can be scary, but you don’t have to face the cancer on your own. If you or someone you know has gone through all the necessary professional channels and determined your illness stems from asbestos exposure, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim. Our mesothelioma lawyers are here to help.