National Study Aims To Show Lung Cancer Is No Longer A ‘Smokers’ Disease’
By Suzanne Rutter
Specialist industrial disease lawyers have welcomed a new study which aims to gain a better understanding of lung cancer and improve the diagnosis and treatment of those diagnosed with the disease.
Research confirms that the number of people developing lung cancer due to smoking has decreased throughout the UK, however the number of people who contract the disease from other causes, including asbestos exposure, remains steady at about 6,000 a year.
The figures were revealed at a launch of a £14 million study which aims to track the genetic changes which trigger the growth of lung cancer tumours and help them develop a resistance to drugs. The project is one of the largest ever to focus on how tumours continue to develop new mutations as they grow and over the course of nine years, scientists will analyse thousands of tumour biopsies from 850 patients across the UK.
Expert lawyers Irwin Mitchell have welcomed the study and hope it raises awareness about the devastating consequences asbestos-related illnesses can have on people’s lives.
Alida Coates, who specialises in helping people who are suffering from asbestos-related illnesses and their families, said: "Many lung cancer sufferers, even those who have smoked, often don’t realise that their risk of developing the terminal illness may have been dramatically increased by heavy occupational exposure to asbestos dust and that we may be able to help them get the justice and financial security they deserve.
“Many people aren’t aware that exposure to substantial levels of asbestos dust over a prolonged period of time can more than double the risk of lung cancer developing. The risks of developing the disease are multiplied many times over when cigarette smoking is added to past asbestos exposure.
“People who are diagnosed with lung cancer, which may have been caused by deadly asbestos dust, are entitled to seek justice as much as those who are suffering from more well known asbestos-related conditions, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis.
“We hope this ground-breaking new study will raise awareness about the devastating impact asbestos-related illness can have on people’s lives and the fact it’s not just a ‘smokers’ disease’. We welcome research which may ultimately lead to earlier diagnosis of the condition, increase life expectancy and improve the quality of life for our clients in future.”
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), research indicates there are around 2,000 asbestos-related lung cancer deaths each year – equal to the number of those linked to mesothelioma. But only an estimated 122 lung cancer cases were reported by chest and occupational physicians in 2011 as asbestos related.
Our expert asbestos lung cancer solicitors will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved on has been diagnosed with lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.