Patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead are the first in the UK to undergo pioneering breast cancer surgery.
Around 700 women with breast cancer from Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland, and Durham, are diagnosed and treated every year at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust’s state-of-the-art breast
Some tumours that are identified by mammogram and ultrasound need to be marked so that a surgeon can remove them. Current practice in Gateshead is to insert a thin wire into the breast, which is left
visible until surgery has taken place. This can be uncomfortable for some patients and so the team is keen to find an alternative solution.
Now, by implanting innovative radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which evolved from World War II radar systems, surgeons are guided to the exact location of tiny tumours that are too small
The size of a grain of rice, the tags, can be implanted up to 30 days before surgery by a radiologist during a straightforward outpatient appointment. They may be used to replace the current practice
of inserting wires into the tumour on the day of the operation.
Kathryn Jobes, finance director, WCDS, said, “The WCDS is delighted to be associated with and pledges its support for this fantastic pioneering technology.
“It will strive to increase its fundraising efforts to help raise the vital funds needed to make this project the success it undoubtedly deserves to be.”
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