November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month –a time to raise awareness of the need for more research, innovation and better community understanding of this disease.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. More patients die every year from the disease than from prostate, breast, and colon cancer combined.

More than 90% of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive in part because it is found at an advanced stage. Nodules are typically small, deep in the lungs and difficult to reach, making early-stage diagnosis and therapeutic applications difficult.

There are a variety of diagnostic options today for lung cancer, but all have limitations in cost, accuracy, safety or invasiveness. These limitations can lead to false positives, false negatives or side effects such as pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and hemorrhage, which can be serious complications and extend hospital stays.

Patients will now be able to reliably have a less invasive diagnostic procedure, which permits simultaneous tumor staging if necessary.

Facts About Lung Cancer:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide
  • More patients die every year from lung cancer than from prostate, breast, and colon cancer combined
  • The lung cancer five-year survival rate is only16.8%
  • Nearly 160,000 people die from lung cancer every year
  • 60% to 65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers

At Freeman Health System, we are working to increase early detection, improve diagnostics, optimize treatment and accelerate recovery by providing our patients access to the most innovative technologies. The MONARCH® Platform, currently being used by Dr. Pierson, is a new robotic technology designed to transform the diagnosis of lung disease, with the goal of saving lives.

The Monarch Platform is designed to allow an accurate diagnosis without incisions from even the smallest and hardest-to-reach lung nodules –with the hope of catching lung conditions early. “At Freeman, we are excited to be among the first to offer this innovative technology, which uses the latest advances in robotics to diagnose lung conditions –with the least invasive approach for patients,” said Dr. Pierson, Pulmonologist. “Lung cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence –we encourage the community to take an important step to be screened, so that we can find and treat lung cancer before it progresses.”  The MONARCH® Platform has potential to address the limitations of current bronchoscopy approaches by its ability to reach and access lesions that are located far out in the periphery of the lung, and by improved accuracy that comes from robotic technology.

Submitted By:
Grant Pierson, DO
Department of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Freeman Lung Institute

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