Baptist Health offering new tech for breast cancer patients – Paducah Sun

Baptist Health Paducah is offering new technology for local cancer patients through the use of an FDA-approved system that helps guide surgeons in locating and removing breast tumors.

The Sentimag Magnetic Localization System senses magnetic markers, “Magseed,” and lymphatic tracer, “Magtrace,” which are used for tissue localization and breast cancer staging, according to a Baptist Health news release. The system has a probe that detects the magnetic seed and tracer, and Baptist Health describes this as a “simpler, more effective alternative to traditional methods of using guide wires for tissue localization and radioactive traces for sentinel node biopsy procedures.”

The hospital said it’s the first in the region to use this system.

Dr. Kristen Williams, a general surgeon with the Surgical Group of Paducah, shared information this week about the use of Magseed and Magtrace, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close this weekend.

“What I tell my patients is (that) when I use Magseed, it decreases their anxiety. It decreases the amount of time they spend in the hospital and it decreases the risk they need more surgery, and I think those are the three things that really matter to patients,” Williams told The Sun.

A Magseed, made from surgical grade steel, is similar to a grain of rice in size. It’s inserted through a needle, and can be placed in a tumor days or weeks before surgery. The process takes about 30 minutes to an hour, Williams said.

“And then the day of surgery, I have a probe that in the operating room allows me to find exactly where that seed is and then it also allows me to make a better incision and have less trauma to the breast because I can find exactly where it is with the probe,” she said. “I can go right down over it.”

It has other benefits, such as lower rates of positive margins (or cancer at the edges of removed tissue) and can make for better cosmetic outcomes.

“There is a study that showed that patients have less anxiety having the seed versus the wires,” Williams said.

“(There’s) less time commitment the day of surgery. It gets them out of here quicker and it’s also been shown to have decreased rates of positive margins, so less women have to go back to the operating room for a second operation, when using the seed, because it’s more exact.”

According to Baptist Health, Magseed can be used to mark “suspicious” lymph nodes before chemotherapy. In conjunction with Magtrace, it can help surgeons do a “more targeted dissection” and determine if cancer has spread.

The hospital said Magtrace is a mapping agent that identifies specific lymph nodes, known as sentinel lymph nodes. It helps to “accurately target them for removal.” This is important in determining a tumor’s stage.

“I inject in the operating room, so the patient is already asleep. It’s not radioactive. It’s magnetic, and they don’t feel it going in because they’re asleep,” Williams said about Magtrace, noting that this can mean less anxiety for patients too, when compared to older methods.

The hospital got the system earlier this year. The hospitals’ foundation was able to give funding for it, through the generosity of members of the annual giving society, “The President’s Circle.” The foundation provided $67,600.

Visit to learn more about the Sentimag system.

Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @KellyAFarrell11

Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @KellyAFarrell11

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