HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s called the robotic bronchoscopy tool, and it allows doctors a new way of battling lung cancer.

The Penn State Cancer Institute is deploying a new robot-assisted bronchoscopy system that detects lung cancer at its earliest stages. The robot uses a camera to view the inside of the lung with computer-assisted navigation.

“We can get to spots tumors etc. That we couldn’t get through with traditional technology,” said Michael Reed, chief of thoracic surgery at Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center.

This is the second Penn State Health facility to use the technology; Penn State Health Hamden Medical Center started using the technology in 2022.

“Lung cancer in the past had the stigma of being a fatal diagnosis most of the time and no advances being made in its treatment. That’s just no longer the case,” Reed.

According to the CDC, there were 10,629 cases of lung cancer in 2019. More than half of those cases resulted in death, giving lung cancer the highest death rate among all cancers.

“I can’t wait to get started, it’s going to offer so many opportunities for us to not only diagnose patients with lung cancer and other abnormalities but also to do their staging at the same time, whereas in the past that would take two procedures,” said Jennifer Toth, director of interventional pulmonology at Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center.

Doctors are expected to start using the robot before by next week.