Published on October 16, 2020

Smaller Than a Seed, New Technology Guides Surgeons, Simplifies Treatments

Photo of a Magseed wire compared to the size of a ladybug.

Breast cancer patients in the Alpena area now have access to a new option when preparing for breast cancer surgery. Magseed®, offered at MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena, is a simpler, more effective alternative to the traditional wire localization methods that have been used for more than 30 years. The Magseed marker is smaller than a grain of rice. (Image enlarged by 2x magnification).

Breast cancer patients in the Alpena area now have access to a new treatment option when preparing for breast cancer surgery. Magseed®, offered at MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena, is a simpler, more effective alternative to the traditional wire localization methods that have been used for more than 30 years.

“We expect the Magseed to improve the patient experience compared to the wire technique for several reasons. The wire technique requires patients to arrive in surgery, get transferred to radiology and return to surgery,” said General Surgeon Thomas Thornton, M.D. “The Magseed technique reduces the time at the hospital on the day of surgery as the Magseed can be implanted prior to the day of surgery.”

Today, breast cancer remains the most common form of cancer in women, with 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer diagnosed across the globe each year. However, improvements in breast cancer screening and better public awareness have resulted in cases being caught at an earlier stage when the tumors are smaller and harder to feel.

To ensure accuracy of the tumor location, a Magseed (magnetic seed) provides a specific map to the tumor. The technology is smaller than a grain of rice and can be placed into the tumor any time prior to surgery. Once implanted, the seed produces no discomfort, stays in place and patients are not restricted in their movement or activity. During surgery, the seed is detected with a probe which guides accurate removal of the tumor and allows the surgeon to select the best surgical approach. This new technology provides more accurate removal of cancerous tissue, ensuring that healthier tissue can be left behind for a better cosmetic result.

“Patients who have had the Magseed placed are amazed at how quick and relatively painless it is,” said Ben Eggleston, M.D., a radiologist at MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena. “It’s a step in the right direction in improving care for our patients."

MidMichigan Health offers a complete approach to breast health, including 3D mammography at all locations, breast risk assessment, screenings and genetic counseling as well as compassionate, comprehensive treatment options. Those who would like additional information on MidMichigan’s comprehensive breast health program and cancer treatment may visit www.midmichigan.org/breast.

Magseed®is a registered trademark of Engomagnetics Ltd (Endomag)