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Posted on May 07th, 2020
When they occur in the lungs or in the gastrointestinal tract, neuroendocrine tumors may be the consequence of asbestos exposure in people who were exposed to the carcinogenic mineral during the last century. While they can initially be benign, neuroendocrine tumors may turn malignant in individuals with a history of asbestos exposure.
Every year, over 12,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor. There are approximately 175,000 individuals living with this diagnosis throughout the country at the moment. Within recent years, the number of people who receive a neuroendocrine tumor diagnosis has been increasing, as more and more awareness has been raised concerning this condition. Additionally, the medical technology used to diagnose neuroendocrine tumors, such as endoscopy and imaging tests, has been evolving, which resulted in a larger number of individuals receiving this diagnosis. While there is no known cause of neuroendocrine tumors, asbestos exposure was found to contribute to their development.
Occurring in the cells of the endocrine or nervous system, neuroendocrine tumors are neoplasms, abnormal growths of tissue which most commonly develop on organs such as the small intestine, the lungs, the appendix, the rectum and the pancreas. However, they can occur on any part of the body, since the endocrine and nervous systems extend throughout the entire human body. There are multiple types of neuroendocrine tumors, some of the most frequently diagnosed being:
Neuroendocrine tumors are also classified depending on whether they secrete hormones in the body. When they do, they are functional neuroendocrine tumors, and when they do not, they are referred to as nonfunctional neuroendocrine tumors. Although there is no known cause of neuroendocrine tumors, there are certain risk factors which increase the chances of a person to develop one, such as:
While the symptoms of neuroendocrine tumors vary greatly, depending on their location and on whether they are benign or malignant, some of the most common signs include the following:
As previously mentioned, neuroendocrine tumors can develop on any organ, as the endocrine and nervous systems exist throughout the entire body. Nevertheless, they are more common in certain organs and areas of the body. The following are the most frequently affected organs by neuroendocrine tumors.
Asbestos exposure, which occurs when a person inhales or ingests asbestos fibers from the air, can lead to the development of a neuroendocrine tumor in the lungs or in the gastrointestinal tract. In a study published in the medical journal Annals of Occupational Hygiene in 2014, asbestos fibers were found in 25% of people with pulmonary carcinoid tumors. A small percentage of lung cancers are neuroendocrine tumors. Nonetheless, they are likely to occur in people with a history of occupational or military asbestos exposure, since the amount of asbestos fibers in their body is often large. Because asbestos fibers can travel through the bloodstream following inhalation or ingestion, they can easily reach the lungs or one of the organs within the gastrointestinal tract. There, they will gradually cause inflammation and tissue scarring which can, in turn, lead to the occurrence of a neuroendocrine tumor. It is important to note that it may take between 20 and 50 years for a neuroendocrine tumor to develop in individuals who were exposed to asbestos.
In people with a history of asbestos exposure, a neuroendocrine tumor can develop on the following organs:
Oftentimes, neuroendocrine tumors which develop as a consequence of asbestos exposure are malignant, since asbestos fibers are a known human carcinogen and thereby very harmful to the human body. If you have a history of asbestos exposure, it is highly recommended to undergo regular medical examination, as you may have a neuroendocrine tumor and experience no symptoms in the early phase of the disease. While your neuroendocrine tumor may initially be benign, it can turn malignant over the years because of the carcinogenic asbestos fibers within it.
In the unfortunate case you receive a diagnosis of gastrointestinal or pulmonary neuroendocrine tumor and have a history of occupational or military asbestos exposure, please contact our law firm for a free of charge case review, as you may be entitled for compensation. If asbestos fibers are found in the neuroendocrine tumor, you immediately qualify for compensation from asbestos trust funds and, if you are a veteran, from the VA as well.
With 30 years of experience in pursuing financial compensation for asbestos victims, our attorneys will promptly file a claim on your behalf so that you can recover the money you deserve for your physical and emotional distress. However, it is important to know that asbestos exposure cases have a statute of limitations of 3 years in most states, which should make taking legal action a priority for you. Thereby, seeking legal assistance as soon as you receive your diagnosis is crucial in obtaining the compensation you are entitled to.