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People who have adenocarcinoma should take extra precautions during the coronavirus pandemic

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on April 05th, 2020

Having lung adenocarcinoma entails a high risk of infection with the new coronavirus since people who suffer from it have a compromised respiratory system, as well as a weak immune system because of the cancer treatment they regularly undergo, namely chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Lung cancer is the second most common malignant disease at the moment in the U.S. Over 228,000 people will have received a lung cancer diagnosis by the end of the year and a new case emerges every 2.3 minutes throughout the country. It is also the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, as 25% of people who suffer from a type of cancer will lose their lives to lung cancer. An adenocarcinoma is a form of lung cancer that occurs in approximately 40% of the people with this disease. Because the respiratory system is compromised in individuals who suffer from adenocarcinoma, infection with the new coronavirus is more likely, since the virus targets mainly the airways and the lungs.

What is adenocarcinoma?

As one of the most common forms of lung cancer, adenocarcinoma develops in the glands which line the lungs, but it can also occur in the colon, breasts, prostate, esophagus, and pancreas. Nevertheless, it most often takes place in the lungs, namely on the outside of the organs, where the glands which secret mucus exist. It is a non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most frequently encountered type. After it affects the mucus-secreting glands, it tends to spread to the alveoli, the air sacs of the lungs. Occurring mostly along the outer edges of the lungs, adenocarcinoma is a form of lung cancer that develops slowly and thereby has a more favorable prognosis than other types of lung cancer. People between the ages of 20 and 45 are more prone to developing lung adenocarcinoma than the elderly.

What causes lung adenocarcinoma?

Similarly to the vast majority of lung cancers, the primary cause of adenocarcinoma is tobacco smoking. Nonetheless, there are other important risk factors which may contribute to the development of adenocarcinoma, such as exposure to:

  • second-hand smoke
  • air pollution
  • silica dust
  • radon gas
  • diesel exhaust
  • asbestos

In the early stages, people with lung adenocarcinoma usually do not experience any symptoms, which is the reason why it is typically detected in late stages. In rare instances when symptoms are present, they include a persisting cough, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, hoarseness, chest pain, wheezing, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, recurring respiratory infections, and unexplained weight loss.

Lung adenocarcinoma and asbestos exposure

The causal relation between asbestos exposure and lung adenocarcinoma is confirmed by numerous medical studies, as asbestos is a human carcinogen that may lead to numerous terrible diseases 20 to 50 years after the person first inhales or ingests it. A study conducted on 146 Norwegian men who were smokers and had a history of asbestos exposure, which was published in the journal Molecular and Clinical Oncology in 2017, reveals that nearly 46% of the people who participated in the research developed lung adenocarcinoma. The individuals who took part in the study came from two occupational groups in which asbestos exposure occurs to a great extent: shipyard workers and construction workers. On average, lung cancer develops within 15 years following asbestos exposure.

The risk of infection with coronavirus in lung adenocarcinoma patients

Currently, the U.S. is the country with the largest number of coronavirus cases. The new virus has been found in over 311,000 people by now, out of which 8,454 passed away. Among the demographics at high risk of contracting it are people who struggle with lung adenocarcinoma, since their respiratory system is damaged and the cancer treatment they undergo - chemotherapy and radiotherapy - weaken their immune system tremendously. Therefore, not only is infection with coronavirus more likely to occur, but they are also at higher risk of developing serious health complications if they contract it. Some of the health complications people who suffer from lung adenocarcinoma and became infected with the new virus may experience are:

  • severe muscle pain
  • heart attack
  • irregular heart rate
  • acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • fatigue
  • cardiovascular shock

Death may occur if medical attention is not sought as soon as the person notices symptoms such as difficulty breathing, fever, headache, a lingering cough, confusion, inability to stand up, chest pain, runny nose, a sore throat, and tiredness. Infection with coronavirus is very serious and may claim your life, so we strongly advise you to go to the emergency room if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms.

Preventive measures for people who have lung adenocarcinoma

To protect yourself from contracting the new virus, you should follow a series of protective measures. Their purpose is to prevent infection with coronavirus and to keep you safe during the epidemic. If you have lung adenocarcinoma, here are the basic protective measures you should take into consideration every day:

  • avoid leaving your house except for emergencies such as grocery shopping and receiving medical attention
  • wash your hand thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you return home
  • disinfect the objects and surfaces you touch most often on a regular basis
  • keep a distance of at least 3 feet from other people when you are outside
  • wear a face mask if you are going to be in a crowd of people
  • cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when you cough or sneeze
  • refrain from touching your mouth, nose, and eyes if you have not previously washed your hands
  • keep up with the news concerning the coronavirus to learn about other protective measures you should follow

People with lung adenocarcinoma may be eligible for compensation

If you came to suffer from lung adenocarcinoma as a result of occupational asbestos exposure, you are entitled to financial compensation from the liable parties. With 30 years of experience in pursuing asbestos exposure cases, our attorneys will provide you with a free case review and help you recover the money you deserve for your physical and emotional distress. To apply for compensation, please reach out to our law firm and we will file a claim with the asbestos trust funds of the companies which manufactured the hazardous products you handled on the job. Furthermore, if you are a veteran who was exposed to asbestos while serving in the military, we will also file a claim with the VA, as they also offer compensation.

The money you will receive will cover your medical expenses and will help you afford superior healthcare and treatment, so you should consider taking legal action, as it will benefit you in multiple ways and will hold the parties at fault responsible for their negligent actions. It is important to know that we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not owe our legal experts anything unless they obtain compensation for you. Lastly, if you decide to take legal action, it is essential to do it as soon as you find out about your diagnosis, since asbestos exposure cases have a statute of limitations of 3 years in most states. Thereby, if you fail to apply for compensation within this period of time, you will no longer be eligible.