LewisGale first in Virginia to use new technology that helps detect lung cancer earlier

The Monarch Robotic Bronchoscope gives doctors direct vision when performing procedures inside a person’s lungs

SALEM, Va. – LewisGale Medical Center in Salem is the first hospital in Virginia to use new artificial intelligence to help diagnose and treat lung cancer.

The new technology is the Monarch Robotic Bronchoscope and doctors say the machine will help make strides in helping to detect lung cancer early.

“It will be a phenomenal impact for our market, our community and most importantly our patients,” said LewisGale Health System’s Market President, Lance Jones.

LewisGale pulmonary specialist Dr. Nelson Greene says lung cancer is considered a “silent killer” because it’s not detected as early as other cancers like colon or breast cancers. But with this machine, doctors are hoping to change that.

“The goal is to diagnose lung cancers at stage one disease so we can dissect them, treat them aggressively and cure the patient,” he said.

The robotic bronchoscope makes it easier for doctors to navigate through a person’s lungs with direct vision during a procedure, like checking for cancer or removing a growth within the lung.

“What we have found is this technology is allowing us to make a quicker diagnosis and a more accurate diagnosis,“ said Dr. Greene.

This is why the hospital is anxious to begin helping patients across the Commonwealth, but especially in Southwest Virginia.

“Lung cancer across the nation is recognized as a number one killer. So without a doubt, recognizing we are in a part of the country where coal mining has been predominant, tobacco use has been predominant, so it’s very clear we have a lung cancer challenge and this without question will make an immeasurable impact,” said Jones.

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