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Magseed technology has now arrived at St John of God Subiaco Hospital and with thanks to generous donor support, surgeons will be able to deliver even better care for people with breast cancer. 

A Magseed is a tiny metal marker (about the size of a grain of rice) that is used to help surgeons locate small or difficult to feel breast cancers during surgery. It is inserted prior to surgery by a radiologist, using either ultrasound or mammogram guidance to mark where the tumour is. The surgeon then uses a handheld probe using Magnetic technology to locate the Magseed during surgery. Magseed serves as an alternative to the traditional ‘hookwire’, which is inserted on the same day as surgery and can cause discomfort and distress for patients.Using Magseed to accurately locate and remove cancerous tissue means that patients are less likely to need additional surgery. The technology also helps with patients’ recovery, by conserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

“Magseed truly is a better technique for treatment than the traditional hookwire, but it is not financially accessible to many women,” says St John of God Breast and General Surgeon Dr Wen Chan Yeow.

“Without the kindness of our donor community, we wouldn’t be able to offer the newer and often more expensive technologies to treat breast cancer, such as Magseed.” 

The Magseed technology is already directly helping patients at Subiaco, like Kaye McLaughlan. For Kaye, her breast cancer diagnosis came out of the blue.  

“I was a little shocked,” Kaye said. 

“It was a regular mammogram, I thought it might have been a cyst.” 

Fortunately, Kaye’s cancer was detected early and had not spread to her lymph nodes, so she did not require chemotherapy. And thanks to the Magseed technology, Kaye’s surgery to remove the cancer went smoothly. 

“It seemed to be quite a quick procedure,” Kaye said. 

“My doctors were saying how much quicker and easier the new treatment was for them. I think it made it a lot easier for them during surgery to know exactly where to go and what to do. 

“And I didn’t have any pain at all. It was very good.”

Kaye has recently started radiation, and it’s going well so far. She expressed gratitude to the donors who helped her to access Magseed technology at her local hospital. 

“Thank you very much,” Kaye said. 

“Breast Cancer is a very scary and worrying time for a woman. Every bit of support and funding is so important.” 

Dr Yeow also expressed her thanks for the donor funding that helped to make Magseed possible for Subiaco patients. 

“Thank you to the donors who have supported breast cancer services such as Magseed at St John of God Health Care,” Dr Yeow said. 

“Your support is invaluable for women who are going through the often difficult and emotional breast cancer journey.”

Read more about the amazing impact of your support