Quad Cities Best Lung Cancer Care and Treatment | UnityPoint Health - Trinity

Lung Cancer Care & Treatment in Quad Cities

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the lungs. The lungs are spongy organs that take in oxygen as we breathe in and emit carbon dioxide as we exhale. There are two different forms of lung cancer, small cell and non-small cell that grow differently, so they need to be treated as such. Lung cancer is responsible for 29 percent of cancer deaths which makes it the leading cause of cancer in both men and women. While it is the deadliest form of cancer in the United States, it is also the most preventable.

What Risk Factors are Involved with Lung Cancer?

Cigarette Smoking

Smoking is by far the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in people in the United States as it is linked to roughly 90 percent of lung cancer. The use of other forms of tobacco-related products also contributes to lung cancer. The risk of cancer remains high for several years after quitting smoking but is lower than a smoker's risk within 5 to 10 years after quitting.

Secondhand smoke

Exposure to secondhand smoke can be just as harmful as smoking directly. According to the CDC, 7,300 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year from secondhand smoke.

Excessive alcohol use

Drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol, no more than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men, may increase your risk of lung cancer.

Radon exposure

Some studies show that the exposure to radon gas has a direct correlation to lung cancer. Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the ground. Radon can leak out of the ground and then become trapped in houses or buildings, where it is then inhaled. You cannot see or smell radon, which is why testing for radon is often recommended.

Environmental factors

Exposure to substances at work or in the environment can increase a person's risk of developing lung cancer. This includes secondhand tobacco smoke, asbestos, arsenic, radiation and some chemicals. Dust and fumes from nickel, chromium and other metals may also increase the risk of lung cancer.

Family history

Having family members that have had lung cancer increases your chances of getting lung cancer. Living in close quarters with someone that's had lung cancer may mean that you've been exposed to the same things such as, cigarettes, asbestos radon, etc.

Symptoms

Symptoms of lung cancer tend only to show up when the cancer is in it's later stages. Individual symptoms will vary depending on the stage of cancer and where the cancer has metastasized. If any of these symptoms occur, it is important to contact the experts at UnityPoint Health Trinity for guidance and treatment options.

  • Severe cough that won't go away

  • Coughing blood

  • Chest Pains

  • Wheezing

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Persistent headaches 

Prevention

The leading cause for lung cancer is cigarette smoking, so it's no wonder that quitting smoking is the first item on our list for preventing this deadly disease. Although it is the best thing you can do to lessen your chances of lung cancer, it is not the only step you can take.

  • Quit smoking - Even if you've been a heavy smoker most of your life, quitting smoking can significantly lessen your chances of getting lung cancer. 

  • Avoid secondhand smoke - inhaling secondhand smoke is just as deadly as smoking a cigarette directly. Avoid smoking areas or cars in which people are smoking. 
  • Protect yourself from carcinogens at work - Depending on your line of work, if you are advised to wear a gas mask to avoid chemicals, do so. These precautionary measures are set up by your workplace to help you. 

  • Test your home for radon - Have your home's radon levels checked to see if a mitigation needs installation. A mitigation system will help to remove radon gases from your home.

Early detection is critical when trying to stop the spread of lung cancer. Because symptoms don't tend to show themselves until the latest stages, it is important to be proactive about your health from the beginning. UnityPoint Health Trinity's Lung Cancer Screening Program has been successful in helping identify early stages of lung cancer in patients with no signs of symptoms. If found in its earlier stages, lung cancer treatment sees a significantly higher success rate. Our experts working in Quad Cities' Cancer Center are available to help educate and treat the different forms of lung cancers.

Find Out If You Are at Risk Today!

Quad Cities Best Lung Cancer Care & Treatment

Even before setting foot in our Cancer Center, you can find your individual risk of getting lung cancer with the help of our CancerAware online lung cancer assessment tool. 

Whether you smoke or not, this evaluation can give you the knowledge you need to provide the best defense against lung cancer. If any red flags come to light out of this assessment, contact us today for further testing and evaluations. 

We also work in Quad Cities and Muscatine schools with our Smoke Free That's Me! program to help children understand the effects of lifestyle choices, such as smoking, on long term health.

Early detection is critical when trying to stop the spread of lung cancer. 

Because symptoms don't tend to show themselves until the latest stages, it is important to be proactive about your health from the beginning. If found in its earlier stages, lung cancer treatment sees a significantly higher success rate. Our experts working in Quad Cities' Cancer Center are available to help educate and treat the different forms of lung cancers.