The cavity left over from the removed tissue often fills with fluid that eventually scars down over several years....
Breast Cancer Localizers
Evolution of Breast Cancer Localizers
Better screening and improved breast cancer awareness has led to some cancers being identified before they are able to be felt through the skin. In such cases, it is necessary to “mark” the cancer prior to surgically removing it. In the early 2000’s, this was accomplished by inserting a wire into the cancerous area under radiologic guidance. This was sometimes logistically challenging, as the patient would have to get to the hospital several hours before surgery to undergo the localization procedure.
The wire could also get pulled out during the wait for surgery. Seed localization was introduced partly in response to these challenges. A tiny, radioactive “seed” is introduced into the cancerous area within several days of surgery. With this method, the logistic challenges are eliminated since patients do not need an extra procedure on the day of surgery.
Additionally, the seed does not have substantial risk of being dislodged. During the surgery, a small, handheld Geiger counter is used to detect the small level of radiation being emitted from the seed. However, because of the low dose radiation of the seed, it must be placed a few days prior to surgery. A further advance in cancer localization came in the form of magnetic seeds. These devices relied on magnetic energy rather than a low level of radioactivity.
Magnetic seeds may be able to remain in the body longer compared with the radioactive seed. The magnetic seed is localized using a hand held magnetic sensor.
Magseed (endomag): Magseed is a small magnetic device designed to localize breast cancer within the breast. It can be placed into cancerous tissue with a needle with various forms of radiologic guidance. It relies on magnetic energy and does not emit any radiation. Therefore, it can be implanted 30 or more days prior to surgery and safely remain in the body much longer than the radioactive seed.
Sentimag (endomag): The Sentimag sensor is used to scan the breast and localize the magseed. Sentimag creates a magnetic field and detects the magnetic energy being emitted by Magseed. Once localized in this way, a surgeon can confidently remove the cancerous area. After removal, the removed tissue and remaining breast are re-scanned to make sure the magnetic seed was removed. The removed tissue is also x-rayed to make sure the Magseed is still within the tissue and the correct area was removed.