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Asbestos Lung Cancer Solicitors - Injury Compensation Claims - Australia

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 090

Miners are at risk of developing lung cancer through exposure to asbestos. Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lungs. Cancer can cause damage to the lungs, spread to other organs and result in death.

Our lung cancer solicitors are committed to informing victims of asbestos exposure about their rights to compensation. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, call our helpline, complete the contact form, or send an email to receive legal advice. No Win No Fee representation is also available.


Asbestos is a potential primary cause for lung cancer. Tiny asbestos fibres that have broken off from asbestos minerals during the mining process, can float through the air and be inadvertently inhaled. These fibres work their way through the airways to the pleura, the lining of the lungs. Asbestos fibres can cause cancer of the epithelial cells in the airways, or of the pleura.

The average latency period of lung cancer, from the first exposure to asbestos, ranges from 20 to 30 years. Lung cancer symptoms are rarely felt until the disease has developed to an advanced stage.

Mining Risks

Miners who develop asbestosis or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Certain measures can be taken to decrease the risk of developing lung cancer from asbestos exposure. Regular surveillance of all mined rock should be undertaken to ensure minimal disturbance of fibrous material. Access to all mining areas containing fibres should be strictly controlled and monitored. As far as possible, dust should be suppressed at source and workers should be isolated from dust by the provision of proper equipment and facilities. Dust containment, collection and handling facilities should be introduced to minimise the level of airborne fibres. Proper disposal procedures should be in place for fibrous waste.


Common symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • Coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Neck or facial swelling
  • Shoulder pain (Pancoast's syndrome)
  • Paralysis of vocal chords leading to hoarseness
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Chest infections


A doctor may order a chest x-ray, CT scan, or MRI scan. A bronchoscopy test or sputum cytology may also be used. Nevertheless, biopsies are considered the only definitive test for diagnosing lung cancer.

Doctors may use several tests to accurately stage a lung cancer. The stage of a cancer is a measure of the extent to which a cancer has spread in the body. Staging is important for determining how a particular cancer should be treated.


Treatment of lung cancer may include any or a combination of the following:

  • Surgery: is the treatment of choice for certain types of tumours that have not spread.
  • Radiation Therapy: uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: refers to the administration of drugs that stop or slow the growth of cancer cells.

The prognosis for lung cancer is poor, with an overall five-year survival rate of approximately 16%.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Solicitors

Asbestos related diseases have been recognised for more than a century however it is only since 1991 that the use of asbestos and asbestos products has been outlawed in Australia. Due to the long period of time passing (the latency period) between exposure to asbestos fibres and development of obvious symptoms, which can be as long as 50 years after exposure, it is anticipated that new diagnoses of asbestos related diseases will continue to rise until after the year 2020. Our specialist solicitors deal with all types of asbestos related disease including compensation for asbestosis, pleural disease, mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer. If you believe that you are suffering from an asbestos related disease our asbestos lung cancer solicitors are able to arrange for you to be urgently examined by a medical consultant. We are able to provide detailed legal advice and pursue lung cancer compensation claims on a no win no fee basis. Our asbestos lung cancer solicitors offer advice at no cost, with no further obligation.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Overview

Asbestos is a mineral that breaks up into tiny needle-like fibres that are not soluble in water and do not clear from the lungs once inhaled. It causes many different lung conditions, including pleural plaques, pleural effusions malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancers.

Asbestos-related lung cancers are those lung cancers that have been associated with a long history of asbestos exposure or a brief exposure to great amounts of asbestos. It causes irritation of the lungs, particularly near the bronchial tree that moves the air to and from the air exchanging parts of the lungs or the alveoli.

With asbestos, the needle fibers usually travel through the lungs to the lining of the lungs, where mesothelioma forms. Some fibres, however, enter the lungs and then stay in the area of the bronchial tree, where they form a cancer.

The two types of asbestos-related lung cancer that are not mesothelioma include non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer makes up about 80 percent of all cancers and small cell cancer makes up 20 percent of all cases. Of the two, small cell cancers are the deadliest, with the survival rate of limited small cell lung cancer being only 14 percent after 5 years. The average survival time is about 6-12 months with treatment and only 2-4 months without treatment.

With non-small cell cancer, the five year survival rate for the best stage of cancer is 49 percent. For the worst stage of this type of lung cancer has a five year survival rate of 1 percent. Fortunately, not everyone who is exposed to asbestos get lung cancer as a result. Smoking seems to be related to getting lung cancer, especially when associated with asbestos exposure.

Regular lung cancer (not mesothelioma) often starts with a cough that won't go away, associated with shortness of breath, weight loss, malaise and the coughing up of blood. The symptoms can come on all of a sudden or can occur gradually. Sometimes the first sign is a pneumonia that doesn't easily go away even with antibiotics. This is because the cancer is blocking the bronchial tree, allowing bacteria to proliferate just behind the cancer. It's only after the pneumonia is cleared that the cancer is visualized on x-ray.

Cancer of the lung can be diagnosed by chest x-ray, CT scan of the lungs or an MRI scan of the lungs. This can show the mass on the lung tissue as well as any swollen, cancerous lymph nodes, usually located near the heart or between the lung halves. To make the diagnosis, a bronchoscope can be passed through the bronchial tree to visualize and biopsy the cancerous tissue. If the cancer is not near a major bronchus, then an open lung biopsy is done to find out what kind of cancer the tumour is, which can dictate treatment.

The treatment of lung cancer depends on the type of cancer found in the biopsy. Non-small cell cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Small cell cancer has been found not to be any better with surgical resection but is very radio-sensitive and sensitive to chemotherapy.

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 090