WA first in Breast Cancer treatment led from the South West

St John of God Bunbury Hospital has become the first hospital in Western Australia to introduce and use Magseed technology to improve breast cancer treatment for regional patients.

22 Oct 2020

Mr Marcus Ong, Vicki Vanda, Jeffery Williams with magseed St John of God Bunbury Hospital

The Magseed is a tiny 5mm magnetic device that is used to help surgeons locate impalpable breast cancers by inserting it into the tissue prior to surgery and marking where the cancerous tumour lies.

The technology was funded through philanthropic support to the St John of God Foundation as part of an initiative to provide advanced cancer care closer to home for regional patients.

General Breast Surgeon Mr Marcus Ong, who led the implementation, said that the device has improved the surgical accuracy and patient experience for the more than 40 women who have benefitted from this new treatment option since February 2020.

“From the patient perspective using the Magseed is a more pleasant experience as it is placed in advance by the radiologist with no protruding wires, reducing anxiety on the day of surgery which results in better outcomes for the patient, Mr Ong said. 

“Traditionally, we have used a hookwire as a marker, this requires a procedure only a few hours before the operation, it protrudes from the skin and can be quite confronting for the patient.

“Using the device we are able to remove a more accurate volume of cancerous tissue leaving more healthy tissue, and less chance of requiring another operation or full mastectomy and an overall reduction in the time spent in hospital.” 

St John of God Bunbury Hospital Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Williams said that the device was symbolic of the hospital’s goal of providing the best clinical service to the regional community. 

“The introduction of the Magseed is an important step for breast cancer patients in the South West of Western Australia as they now have access to the latest technology without having to travel to the city, he said.

“We are proud to be able to provide use of the device to around 70 patients per year and would like to thank the St John of God Foundation donors, Mr Ong and our radiological and surgical teams for supporting this initiative.” 

The Magseed was trialed at St John of God Bunbury Hospital in February 2020 and was implemented permanently in June 2020. 

A surgeons’ aim is to perform safe and effective surgery with optimal outcomes. The Magseed also facilitates improved cosmetic appearances for those women who have it as part of their procedure.  

See more information about the St John of God Foundation and how you can help the not-for-profit organisation improve health care in the community. 

St John of God Bunbury Hospital Vicki Vanda and Mr Marcus Ong with magseed

Image: Vicki Vanda and Mr Marcus Ong with Magseed.

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