Lung Cancer Medical Negligence Lawyers – Compensation Claims

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Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia with over 10,000 people diagnosed every year and is usually caused by smoking. There are two types of lung cancer and they are treated differently. Symptoms of lung cancer may include coughing, longstanding chest infection, breathlessness, blood-stained phlegm, hoarse voice, a dull ache or a sharp pain, loss of appetite, loss of weight, difficulty swallowing and excessive tiredness or lethargy.



Most people who experience these symptoms will visit their doctor who should arrange for chest x-rays without delay. Failure to act at this stage is medical negligence and is effectively a misdiagnosis. If the x-ray indicates lung cancer, the victim will be referred on to a specialist for diagnosis and subsequent treatment which can include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, cancer growth inhibitors, radiofrequency ablation and other less common treatments including cryosurgery, diathermy, photodynamic therapy and antiangiogenesis drugs. Following treatment a doctor should arrange adequate follow up including further x-rays to ensure that any recurrence is treated expediently. As with most other cancers speed of diagnosis is important as early treatment gives a better chance of a cure.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is caused by abnormalities in the cells of the lung that grow uncontrollably and infiltrate other tissues. The root cause is a change in the DNA of the cells that lose the ability to stop dividing. The end result is a lung tumor growing out of control. It becomes lung cancer. The lung cancer grows where it starts, spreads to nearby lymph nodes and spreads to distant places. The rate of death is high.

The lungs have the principle function of exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide so we get the proper air to breathe and get rid of the carbon dioxide waste. The lung had three lobes on the right and two lobes on the left. Any of these can be involved in lung cancer.

About 228,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer each ear and 259,000 patients will die from the disease. One out of every fourteen Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer at some point in their lives. Lung cancer is usually a disease of the elderly. Almost seventy percent of new patients are 65 years of age are elderly. Most of the rest are 45 years of age or older. Cancer of the lung was rare before 1930 but dramatically increased due to smoking use.

Causes of lung cancer include smoking history. About ninety percent of lung cancer patients smoked during their life. Pipe and cigar smokers have a lesser chance of lung cancer but still have a higher rate than nonsmokers. The risk of lung cancer is twenty five times higher than in a nonsmoker.

Passive exposure to smoke increases the risk for smoking. Nonsmokers who live with smokers carry a 24 percent increased chance of getting lung cancer. About 3000 cases of lung cancer death happen each year in the US because of passive exposure to smoking.

Asbestos exposure increases the rate of lung cancer. Asbestos fibers are needle-like silicate fibers found in construction work, navy work, and other work needing thermal and acoustic insulation. Regular lung cancer and a type of lung cancer called mesothelioma are part of lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer is much worse if you smoke and are exposed to asbestos.

If you are exposed to radon gas, you have a higher risk of lung cancer. It causes about twelve percent of lung cancer deaths. This translates to 20,000 deaths from radon-induced lung cancer deaths. One out of fifteen homes in the US has dangerously high levels of radon in their home.

Many patients have a familial connection to lung cancer. In one case, an abnormality on chromosome 13 was associated with lung cancer deaths from small cell cancer. These patients never actually smoked in their lives.

Lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive lung disease can increase the risk of lung cancer. With COPD, the risk is 4-6 times the risk of a nonsmoker.

Air pollution from motor vehicles, power plants, and industry can cause lung cancer. It is believed that 1 percent of patients get lung cancer from air pollution.

Lung cancers are divided into small cell cancer or non-small cell cancer. It is based on how the cells looked under the microscope. Small cell cancers make up 20 percent of all lung cancers. It is rapidly growing and aggressive. It is strongly connected to cigarette smoking. It metastasizes easily and has a high death rate.

Non-small cell cancer makes up for 80 percent of all cancers of the lung. There are several types of non-small cell cancers:

  • Adenocarcinomas are a common type of non-small cell cancer
  • Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma can occur at several sites in the lungs at the same time
  • Squamous cell carcinoma, which accounts for 30 percent of non-cell cancer of the lung
  • Large cell carcinoma. This is undifferentiated carcinoma of the lung
  • Mixed type cancers are occasionally seen

Rarer types of lung cancer include bronchial carcinoids that account for 5 percent of lung cancers.

Symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • New cough or worsening of an existing cough
  • Persistent respiratory infections or bronchitis
  • Pain in the chest
  • Weight loss or tiredness
  • Being short of breath or wheezing

Complications of the treatment of lung cancer includes a failure to diagnose the disease, a failure to identify the proper lung cancer type and a failure of proper treatment of the disease.

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