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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Australia. More than 14,500 Australians will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. Tragically, almost 85% of those will be diagnosed at a late stage.

Raising awareness around the causes and symptoms of lung cancer can save lives through better prevention measures, earlier detection and more effective courses of treatment.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and we will show our support by participating in the Shine A Light on Lung Cancer Walk to raise awareness of the disease and much-needed funds for vital medical research.

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer starts when abnormal cells grow and multiply in an uncontrolled way. Over time, this abnormal cell growth develops into a larger mass, which starts to invade functional parts of the lung. Doctors call this abnormal cluster of cells a “tumour”.

Symptoms of lung cancer include: 

  • shortness of breath
  • changes to the voice such as hoarseness
  • chest pain
  • coughing or spitting up blood
  • recurring cough
  • recurring chest infections
  • enlarged fingertips
  • loss of appetite
  • unexplained weight loss
  • tiredness

Smoking isn’t the only cause of lung cancer

While a staggering 90% of Australians believe that smoking is the only risk factor for lung cancer, a number of factors can increase your risk, including workplace exposure to dust and chemicals, pollution, and a family history of lung cancer.

Occupational exposure alone contributes to 29% of lung cancer cases in Australian men.

Sadly, due to a lack of education, lung cancer sufferers still face a stigma around their disease. A survey by the Lung Foundation Australia found that over a third of Australians consider those with lung cancer to be their own worst enemy, with 1 in 10 saying they “got what they deserved”.

Jeff’s Story

Jeff Marshall is just one of many Australians who has been diagnosed with lung cancer, as well as COPD, as a result of his occupational exposure to silica dust. Not long into his retirement, Jeff found himself struggling to breathe and noticed his health was rapidly deteriorating.

Jeff worked as a bricklayer for over 40 years. His job involved mixing cement and mortar, handling cement bags and cutting into bricks.  During this time, Jeff was breathing in significant quantities of silica dust without respiratory protection. It became very clear from Jeff’s work history that his bricklaying work likely contributed to his lung disease.

Jeff got in touch with us for advice, and we helped him navigate the legal process and obtain compensation for his medical expenses, and for the pain and suffering caused by condition.

How we’re supporting workers with workplace-related lung cancer

The lawyers in our Asbestos and Occupational Diseases team help every day Australians suffering from a range of occupational lung diseases – including lung cancer – caused by breathing in asbestos, silica dust, fumes, gases and other hazardous chemicals at work.

We are dedicated to making sure all workers are fully supported and compensated if they find themselves diagnosed with lung cancer caused by work.

No one should find themselves in Jeff’s situation where their work has caused their lung disease, and that’s why we are equally committed to raising awareness around work-related risk factors and raising research funding to help prevent lung diseases from occurring in the first place.

Many of our clients, just like Jeff, and their families have been devastated by lung cancer, so this cause is close to our hearts.

Join us in supporting Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Foundation Australia’s Shine A Light on Lung Cancer initiative has supported ground-breaking lung cancer research for over a decade.

Whether you’re living with lung cancer yourself, supporting or remembering a loved one touched by this terrible disease, or simply showing your support for the cause, we invite you to join or donate to our team, or register your own team for the walk.

Where there is light, there is hope – so join us in shining a light on lung cancer.

Learn more about our work in workplace disease compensation

Our dedicated workplace disease lawyers have significant experience in helping clients get compensation for occupational diseases caused by asbestos, silicadust exposure and more. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.

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