JOPLIN, Mo. — A high tech way to pinpoint lung cancer will soon be an option for local patients.

Freeman Health System has new technology called the Monarch Platform. It uses advanced software and robotic tools to find lung cancer at much earlier stages.

Paula Baker, Freeman President, said “We are the first and only hospital in the region to offer this treatment.”

The Monarch Platform involves robotics and advanced software in a minimally invasive procedure.

Dr. Grant Pierson, Pulmonologist, said, “The big thing that’s going to be changing is our, our direct visualization.”

In other words, the surgeon can see the tumor they’re sampling, and hopefully catch it at an earlier stage when it’s more treatable.

“Now if we’re actually able to biopsy that at a smaller time, we can stop it from getting to stage three or stage four, where people keep surgically removed or where we can radiate it there, as we said this will help us to hopefully help prevent this problem.”

Older options could make it tough for the surgeon to biopsy the exact spot that could be cancer.

“It takes some of that guesswork out, and it gives us more confidence at going in smaller nodules.”

Freeman Heath system took delivery of the $600,000 equipment this week and hopes to wrap up training and start using it early in June.

“We’re really excited about it and the difference it’s going to make in people’s lives and the lives it’s going to save,” said Baker.

They add the system is also better for eliminating cases where the symptoms point to lung cancer, but turn out to have completely unrelated causes. That prevents unnecessary procedures and treatment that could have significant side effects on the patient’s health.