Asbestos related lung cancer

Asbestos related lung cancer is cancer of the lungs which has been caused by exposure to asbestos dust. The level of exposure to asbestos dust required to cause lung cancer is similar, or greater, than that required to cause asbestosis.

The overall scale of asbestos related lung cancer deaths has to be estimated rather than counted. This is because it is difficult to tell these cancers apart from those due to other causes such as smoking. It is therefore very difficult to establish for certain the lung cancer has been caused by asbestos exposure.


Symptoms of asbestos-related lung cancer include chest infections, breathlessness, coughing up bloodstained phlegm, pain when coughing or taking deep breaths or a long-standing cough becoming noticeably worse.

How is it diagnosed?

There are no physical differences between lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure and lung cancer caused by smoking, the most common cause of lung cancer. A significant number of people who have been exposed to asbestos dust have also been smokers. It has been medically established that a person exposed to asbestos can develop lung cancer, even if they do not suffer from asbestosis (scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos dust).

If you think you have developed asbestos-related lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos at work, we would encourage you should seek medical advice and contact our team as soon as possible.

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Scottish Charity number: SC 033344. Scottish Company Number: 231615
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