A GENEROUS bequest on behalf of the late Jim and Shirley Richards is bringing a less-evasive treatment for breast cancer patients to Ballarat Base Hospital.
The Magseed, is a new device which works by placing a chip about the size of a grain of rice inside the breast to detect lesions which are often too small to be felt when picked up by improved screening technology and are often hard to locate using traditional methods.
The new system, which Ballarat Health Services is the first in regional Victoria to receive, eliminates the need for insertion of a protruding hook-wire which is usually used by surgeons to locate their breast lesion at the time of surgery.
Instead a tiny magnet is inserted and then identified by the surgeon at operation by passing a hand-held magnet-finder over the breast.
The new device can be implanted for up to 30 day prior to surgery, whereas in the past a hook-wire needed to be operated on within 24 hours of placement in order to narrow the possibility of movement.
General Surgeon, Breast and Endocrine Specialist Ruth Bollard said the chip was much less invasive and reduced the need for overnight stays.
"From an oncoplastic breast surgeon's perspective, the accuracy of finding the lesion and preventing taking too much unnecessary breast tissue during its removal is a significant advantage," Ms Bollard said.
"From our trials last year we know that this technique is safer, better, and less costly in terms of time and money for the patients and the hospital."
BJT Legal trustee Andrew Byrne said Shirley and Jim Richards had no direct family and made a request for their estate to go to charitable purposes.
"They both wanted funds to come into Ballarat, to be used for Ballarat purposes," he said. "They both received good care and attention through medical areas in Ballarat and were keen to make sure it came back for appropriate uses within the cancer and research areas.
"I know Shirley, who died recently, would be delighted to know it's being put to such great use."
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