Providence St. Peter has new program in the fight against lung cancer

Providence St. Peter has new program in the fight against lung cancer

Ion robot-assisted bronchoscopy platform is first of its kind in South Puget Sound

Providence St. Peter Hospital has developed a new program, led by Dr. Dominique Pepper, dedicated specifically to the early detection of lung cancer. This new level of care was made possible through a generous donation to the Providence Southwest Washington Foundation by donors with a long history of support for St. Peter Hospital and matching gifts from the pulmonologists leading the effort.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. At the time of diagnosis, 40 percent of people already have stage 4 metastatic lung cancer, with a less than 2 percent 5-year survival rate. However, when diagnosed at the earliest stage, the 5-year survival rate is more than 54 percent.

“Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the essential keys to better survival rates,” said Dr. Dominique Pepper, medical director for Bronchoscopy and Respiratory Care. “This new program allows us to focus on early detection and diagnosis for every patient and gives us the best tools available.”

To support this new program, St. Peter Hospital recently implemented a new technology, the first of its kind in our community – the Ion robot-assisted bronchoscopy platform. This platform will improve precision, accuracy and safety of lung biopsies and provide patients with an improved, minimally-invasive experience, all while closer to home. The new platform is capable of performing biopsies on much smaller nodules -- and sooner -- resulting in earlier detection and diagnoses and increased cancer survival rates.

If you are at high risk for lung cancer, or are between the ages of 50-80, schedule a lung cancer screening here.


Dr. Dominique J. Pepper is a Pulmonary Disease Specialist. He graduated with honors in 2004 and trained at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr. Pepper has more than 20 years of diverse experiences, especially in pulmonary disease, critical care and internal medicine.

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