Franciscan Health Michigan City advances lung cancer program with Ion robotic bronchoscopy

Franciscan Health Michigan City advances lung cancer program with Ion robotic bronchoscopy

Patients in Michigan City will have the opportunity for earlier lung cancer diagnoses, thanks to the new Ion robotic bronchoscopy platform recently installed at Franciscan Health Michigan City.

According to the American Cancer Society, more patients die from lung cancer annually than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined, accounting for around 25 percent of all cancer deaths. However, when diagnosed in the earliest stages, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 92 percent.

Ion robotic bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows for a minimally invasive biopsy of a lung tumor. Guided by a physician, robotic bronchoscopy allows an ultra-thin catheter with a camera attached to pass through the airways to deeper segments of the lung than traditional needle biopsies, which often miss early cancer diagnoses.

“The Ion robotic bronchoscopy platform adds to our growing portfolio of state-of-the-art technologies,” said Dean Mazzoni, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Michigan City. “This cutting-edge procedure is yet another tool supporting our extraordinary, multidisciplinary team in providing exceptional care for the cancer patients we are blessed to serve.”

The efficiency of the tool helps lessen patient stress. The patient is able to get the diagnosis and the stage of the cancer right away. It saves time for the patient and allows the care team to formulate treatment more quickly, which reduces anxiety for the patient.

Brian Dickover, MD, a Franciscan Physician Network pulmonary medicine physician at the Franciscan Physician Network Franciscan Medical Pavilion in Michigan City and Franciscan Physician Network LaPorte Health Center in LaPorte, and Albert Naveed, MD, a Franciscan Physician Network pulmonary medicine, internal medicine and critical care medicine physician at Franciscan Physician Network Franciscan Medical Pavilion in Michigan City are performing the procedure.

“We are excited to be able to offer this minimally invasive, robotic approach to lung cancer diagnosis,” Dr. Dickover said. “Now, instead of having to travel away from home, we can offer patients this modality in our own community.”

Franciscan Health Indianapolis was the first hospital in the state to introduce robotic bronchoscopy in 2019. Franciscan Health Munster and Crown Point added the technology in 2022.

Many patients have discovered small nodules during the $49 lung scans offered through Franciscan Health. These routine, non-invasive scans have proven helpful in discovering early-stage cancers that are diagnosed and staged through robotic bronchoscopy. To schedule a lung scan, please call (833) 238-0688.

For patients diagnosed with lung cancer, Franciscan Health Woodland Cancer Care Center in Michigan City provides individualized, state-of-the-art treatment options close to home, including medical oncology, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, minimally invasive robotic surgery options, dedicated lung cancer nurse navigators, access to the latest clinical trials and cancer survivorship support.

To learn more about Ion robotic bronchoscopy or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dickover or Dr. Naveed, call (219) 878-8200 Ext. 2.