Featured New Essentia technology aims to better diagnose lung cancer, earlier

Published on November 2nd, 2021 📆 | 2955 Views ⚑


New Essentia technology aims to better diagnose lung cancer, earlier

DULUTH, MN — November marks the start of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and a new piece of technology at Essentia Health in Duluth is making lung cancer detection more effective and less invasive.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer, and doctors say late detection plays a huge role.

Dr. Eric Swanson is a pulmonary and critical care physician at Essentia Health using this new tool.

Doctors will use the Monarch Platform’s video-game-like controller to guide an endoscope through a patient’s natural airways and into their lungs, all without invasive surgery.

The scope provides a better real-time video while offering a wider range of motion for physicians.

This will allow doctors to be more precise with their biopsies and collect more data than before.

“We know that things from inside of the lung are safer in general,” said Dr. Swanson.” “Less risk of complications, so if you can get out there driving through their natural airways, it’s often a much safer procedure.”

According to experts, more than 90 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer don’t survive because of late detection, but early detection can save lives.

Pat McKone, Senior Director for Public Policy and Advocacy with the American Lung Association, said technology like this is a step in the right direction to get people screened early.

“There was a time where you had to have surgery to take a biopsy, but now we have ways we can just go down our normal pathways, into our lungs and get a sample which is so much better,” said McKone.

Essentia Health is one of two hospitals to offer this tool in Minnesota and one of around 90 across the country.

Essentia has had this tool since the end of September and has already used it on 15 patients.

For more information about Lung Cancer Awareness month, click here.

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