Lung cancer develops as a result of uncontrolled growth of malignant cells in one or both lungs. When the cancer starts in the lungs, and remains contained to the lungs, it is known as primary lung cancer. If the cancer starts in another area of your body it is known as Secondary lung cancer. As the number of cancerous cells grows, they spread to the lungs and develop an abnormal mass in one or both lungs.
Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
The most commonly reported symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Coughing that will not go away;
- Shortness of breath;
- Bloody mucus discharge when coughing;
- Frequently recurring respiratory infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis;
- A dull aching pain in the chest;
- Change in voice.
Sometimes, the above symptoms may also be accompanied by extreme and sudden weight loss, severe jaundice or pain in the bones.
Some of the factors that could put you at high risk for lung cancer are:
- Family history of the disease;
- Being a smoker;
- Living with a smoker;
- Exposure to radon, asbestos, silica, chromium or arsenic;
- Long time exposure to diesel exhaust fumes.
More often than not, the symptoms of lung cancer are only evident when the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms and you go for a check up, you must inform your doctor if you are at a high risk so they can recommend the best preventive and diagnostic measures.
How Lung Cancer Is Diagnosed And Confirmed
Your doctor will first perform various physical examinations to determine the presence of any lung cancer indicators. Swelling in the lymph nodes above your collarbone, an abnormal sound in your lungs, presence of an abnormal mass in the abdominal area, or laboured breathing may cause the doctor to suspect lung cancer.
Your doctor will order an x-ray if they suspect lung cancer because by the time a malignant tumour starts to cause symptoms, it is usually visible on an x-ray. If the doctor wants a more detailed look at your lungs they may order a CT scan.
The only certain way to diagnose whether a mass that is in the lung is malignant is to perform a biopsy. This is done by removing some of the cells and examining them under a microscope. Your doctor will put you to sleep for the procedure. Then they insert a thin tube through your mouth or nasal cavity to the site in your lung where the mass is located. A tiny portion of the mass is then removed for further examination.
Your doctor may opt to use a CT scan to help them guide a needle through your skin and into the abnormal mass. Then they can remove some of the cells by drawing them into the needle.
Lymph nodes in close proximity to the abnormal mass will also be tested to see if the cancer is contained in the mass, or if it has spread into other areas of your body.
Lung Cancer Treatment
The exact treatment for lung cancer depends on multiple factors including the type, stage and size of the tumour. How far the tumour has spread and the patient’s overall health are also taken into consideration.
Most common treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or a combination of any of these treatments.
What Can Go Wrong During Diagnosis Or Treatment
Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for the successful treatment of lung cancer. If treatment is delayed because the cancerous cells were not detected on time, the cancer can spread, drastically reducing the chances of a complete cure.
One of the most common mistakes that a doctor can make is misdiagnosing the symptoms. Because the symptoms are similar to many other non-threatening respiratory conditions, a misdiagnosis is unfortunately not rare. There are several consequences of misdiagnosing lung cancer as some other condition. The patient is not referred to a specialist in time resulting in a delay in performing a biopsy and a further delay in starting any treatment till it is too late.
Other reasons for delayed or wrongful treatment could be because of misinterpreting the investigation, wrongly classifying the type of cancerous cells, errors during staging or failure to establish whether or not the patient has a family history of lung cancer.
Sometimes, things could go wrong during the treatment process itself.
Lung Cancer Claims For Compensation
If you have advanced stage lung cancer that was the result of a delayed diagnosis, wrongful treatment or any other form of medical negligence, you may be legally entitled to claim compensation. The exact amount of compensation you may be able to claim will depend on your unique circumstances.
In general, you can claim lung cancer compensation for pain, suffering, losses and all expenses incurred as a result of the wrongful treatment. This may include:
- All medical expenses including hospital fees and cost of all diagnostic tests, medical treatment and medication. Your transportation to and from the hospital is also covered.
- Cost of ongoing treatment if necessary.
- Loss of income if you are unable to return to work because of your advanced illness. In addition to salary, loss of income also covers all perks, bonuses and potential salary raise that you may have been entitled to in case of a promotion.
- Cost of professional home carers.
- Cost of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, stair ramps or breathing apparatus.
- Cost of structural changes to the home or vehicle such as ramps for the wheelchair.
- Cost of counselling if the misdiagnosis or wrongful treatment resulted in mental trauma.
If you feel you are eligible to claim compensation for lung cancer negligence, it is important that you get in touch with a personal injury solicitor at the earliest time, in our opinion. Winning medical negligence cases without a solicitor can be almost impossible because of the many intricacies involved. Personal injury solicitors have the necessary knowledge and experience, in addition to which they have access to experts who will be able to provide strong medical and legal support to help them win the case.
Having an experienced solicitor representing you will give you the best chance of winning your lung cancer claim for compensation. What’s more, we will take up your case on a No Win No Fee basis, which means the legal fees that you have to pay are subject to the lung cancer claim being successful.
Speak with us today for further information on lung cancer claims.