Medical researchers first made a probable causal relationship between asbestos exposure and lung cancer in 1935. Seven years later, in 1942, the National Cancer Institute confirmed asbestos as a cause of lung cancer.
Smoking is the primary cause in most lung cancer diagnoses, however about 4% of cases are traced back to asbestos exposure. Asbestos-related lung cancer is estimated to kill over 6,000 Americans per year, making it the most lethal of all asbestos-related illnesses.
There are two major types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.
Most patients are diagnosed in the late stages because the symptoms of lung cancer — such as coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue — are often mistaken for other causes.