Can asbestos be removed from the lungs before it causes cancer?

No. There is no current technique that can remove asbestos from the body after exposure, other than the body's natural immune and clearance system.
It depends. If asbestos is an isolated problem manifesting itself as a distinct nodule, then this can be removed and potentially prevent development of mesothelioma. But in the usual circumstance asbestos inhalation is diffuse and not localized. The theoretical possibility of local control is realistically far-fetched. Mesothelioma is predominantly a late diagnosis.