A severe illness such as lung cancer may begin to develop when an individual works in a hazardous environment. Its symptoms and effects, however, may not show up until several years later, in some cases, even after a former employee has retired from the job. 

Lung cancer generally does not display any symptoms during the initial stages, as reported by WebMD. By the time an individual experiences a lung-related illness, there is a possibility that the disease may have already progressed to a dangerous stage. A former or current employee may suddenly face life-threatening health issues. The condition may have resulted from years of working and showed no observable early symptoms. 

Monitoring for cancerous lung cells 

When an employee begins a job and knows its risks, taking a proactive approach to detecting cancerous cells may help to avoid a catastrophic illness. Regular medical checkups and preventive health measures may help an employee detect the beginnings of an illness. 

Visiting a physician regularly may help detect a potentially cancerous condition when it first shows its otherwise unrecognizable signs. General early symptoms that might indicate lung cancer may include coughing blood, difficulty breathing or chest pain. 

Early detection and longer survival 

According to medical researchers, lung cancer is the leading type of cancer that may result in death. When patients first seek treatment, at least 50% of them receive a stage IV diagnosis, as reported by the American Lung Association. This generally means that about 50 out of 100 patients may continue to survive five years after a diagnosis. Early detection, however, could help in receiving treatment that may significantly prolong survival. 

Legal action over a work-related illness 

Federal and state laws require employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance to cover work-related illnesses. If a work environment contributed to a serious or fatal lung disease, however, the benefits may not reflect the full scope of the harm suffered. Employees or their families may consider seeking more justifiable compensation. The required action may be to file a legal action against a company that failed in its duty to prevent an illness from occurring or becoming a fatality.