Bunbury boasts WA first in breast-cancer care

Ailish DelaneyBunbury Herald
SJOG Bunbury general breast surgeon Marcus Ong, his patient Vicki Vanda and CEO Jeffrey Williams with Sentimag, which is used alongisde the magseed technology.
Camera IconSJOG Bunbury general breast surgeon Marcus Ong, his patient Vicki Vanda and CEO Jeffrey Williams with Sentimag, which is used alongisde the magseed technology. Credit: Supplied

Bunbury is charging ahead in the health-care sector, with a State first in breast-cancer treatment being implemented in the South West.

St John of God Bunbury has become the first hospital in WA to introduce and use Magseed technology to improve breast cancer treatment and recovery for South West patients.

The tiny 5mm magnetic device helps surgeons locate impalpable breast cancers by inserting it into the tissue prior to surgery and marking where the cancerous tumour lies.

General breast surgeon Marcus Ong led the implementation and said Magseed had improved surgical accuracy and patient experience for more than 40 women who had used the new treatment option since its initial trial period in February.

“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.

Marcus Ong

The device also helps with an improved cosmetic appearance for women who have it as part of their procedure.

Hospital CEO Jeffrey Williams said the device was funded through philanthropic support to the St John of God Foundation as a way to provide advanced cancer care closer to home for those in regional WA.

“The introduction of the Magseed is an important step for breast cancer patients in the South West 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 and thank the donors, Mr Ong and our radiological and surgical teams for supporting this initiative.”

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