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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Bett Plex)

5185 Competition Drive
Bettendorf, IA 52722

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UnityPoint Clinic - Express at Duck Creek

1417 Kimberly Road
Bettendorf, IA 52722

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UnityPoint Clinic Express Care - Bettendorf

3415 53rd Avenue
Bettendorf, IA 52722

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UnityPoint Clinic Express Care - Moline

106 19th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265

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UnityPoint Clinic Express Care - North Port

3426 North Port Drive
Muscatine, IA 52761

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UnityPoint Clinic Express Care - SouthPark Pointe

3904 16th Street
Moline, IL 61265

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Knowing Your Lung Cancer Risk Will Help You Breathe Easier

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As the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, Nicholas Yerkes, MD, and UnityPoint Health are committed to raising awareness about a low-dose CT lung screening that can detect lung cancer early.

“Lung cancer is often found in its late stages leading to severe challenges which reduce successful treatment options,” says Nicholas Yerkes, MD, thoracic surgeon. “Having an easy screening to detect lung cancer before any symptoms develop can save lives and preserve quality of life.”

The signs and symptoms of lung cancer are not always noticeable. The UnityPoint Health oncology care team encourages early lung cancer screening for people with certain risk factors, such as a history of smoking.

For the lung screening criteria, do I have to meet one or all the criteria?

You may qualify if you meet the following criteria:

A current smoker between ages 50-80 with at least a 20-year history of smoking at least one pack per day.

A former smoker between ages 50-80 who has quit smoking within the last 15 years with same history as above. Current or former smokers with any questions regarding screening eligibility, please call the lung cancer nurse navigator at (309) 779-5059 for assistance.

Is the lung screening process painful? Time-consuming?

No. This health screening requires no needles, no medication, no fasting and no changing out of your clothes. Most importantly, it can catch lung cancer early and potentially save your life.

A low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening is a painless, noninvasive procedure. You'll lie on a table that slides in and out of a tubular X-ray machine. The machine takes pictures and turns them into a detailed picture of your lungs.

Is it the process of smoking, or tobacco, or nicotine that brings risk for lung cancer?

Cigarettes and tobacco both contain ingredients that can cause cancer – not just lung cancer. Those can trigger mouth, throat or lung cancers. Experts believe smoking damages the cells that line the lungs. Over time, this damage causes the cells to act abnormally and can cause cancer.

What if I am losing health insurance soon, can I get screening for my lungs?

If you meet screening criteria, a low-dose CT scan is considered preventive care. Private insurance and Medicare cover the costs. If you don't meet screening criteria but are concerned about your risk, we may be able to connect you with financial assistance. Call us at (309) 779-2910.

What would you recommend for those affected by secondhand smoke?

People can reduce their risk by avoiding tobacco smoke by removing the source of the smoke. Make your home and car smoke free areas. If that’s not possible, open windows and use fans to circulate fresh air. If traveling with someone who smokes, take rest stops for them to smoke outside of your vehicle. Choose to patronize smoke-free businesses like restaurants, hotels, childcare and adult care facilities.  Offer support to friends, partners or loved ones who smoke and provide encouragement to stop smoking so the entire family benefits.

What if you find something on the lung screening, what happens next?

Each result is unique to the person. If your doctor suspects lung cancer, they'll do more diagnostic testing. We help you set up follow-up tests and appointments for a full evaluation. UnityPoint Health team of oncologists and surgeons walk alongside you every step of the way. UnityPoint Heath – Trinity Cancer Center provides the latest treatment, including clinical trials. You'll get support from specially trained oncology nurses and a cancer navigation team focused on lung cancer care.

Listen in to Dr. Yerkes' recent virtual education event on addressing your lung health.