Actor Dustin Diamond passed away on February 1, 2021 due to lung cancer. Representatives for the actor revealed that he was diagnosed with stage four small cell carcinoma just three weeks prior. Diamond was hospitalized in January and underwent one round of chemotherapy, but the disease had already metastasized and spread widely. Diamond was best known for his role as Samuel “Screech” Powers on the long-running teen comedy series Saved by the Bell.
The news of Diamond’s death came as a shock for many, as the actor was only 44 years old, and he had been diagnosed only a few weeks before. It is more common for older adults to be diagnosed with lung cancer; the average age at which adults receive a lung cancer diagnosis is 70 years, and only about 10 percent of patients are under age 55. However, younger lung cancer patients are much more likely to be non-smokers. Those diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma are encouraged to contact an experienced asbestos lawyer for assistance.
Asbestos Exposure Causes Lung Cancer
Many associate lung cancer with smoking, but the disease has numerous potential causes, including genetics, secondhand smoke inhalation, and exposure to radon. Lung cancer is also one of several deadly respiratory conditions caused by asbestos exposure, which also includes asbestosis and mesothelioma. When asbestos fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled or ingested, and get lodged in the tissues in and around the lungs, where they start to damage the surrounding cells. Years later, asbestos exposure victims may receive a cancer diagnosis, by which time it is often too late to successfully receive treatment.
The seemingly quick progression of Diamond’s illness is not uncommon for victims of asbestos-related diseases. His diagnosis came after he began experiencing widespread pain and noticed a lump in his neck, an indication that the cancer had already spread throughout the body. Early symptoms of lung cancer and mesothelioma can include persistent cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and in some cases, coughing up blood; mild symptoms may mimic a respiratory infection or other conditions, which can delay diagnosis. Most patients do not experience any symptoms in early stages of the disease. About 40 percent of lung cancer patients reach stage four by the time they are diagnosed, at which point the disease is very difficult to treat.
There is a long latency period between asbestos exposure and the appearance of asbestos-related lung cancer. Symptoms may not appear for 15 to 35 years after a person is exposed to asbestos, and most patients do not get diagnosed until the disease has progressed. Asbestos-related lung cancer spreads quickly, leaving most patients with a short life expectancy. Asbestos can cause both small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, both of which can be deadly. Asbestos exposure often occurs in the workplace, and asbestos is a factor in approximately 37.5 percent of work-related lung cancer cases.
Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Victims of Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos, call the Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Shein Law. Whether you were exposed at work or elsewhere, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us at 877-743-4652 or contact us online to discuss your case. With offices in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.