by Mitchell Consky
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TORONTO (CTV Network) — New Canadian technology enables surgeons to more easily remove breast cancer tumors with minimal cosmetic defect and less pain for patients. And this technology is the size of a sesame seed.
The miniature locator app developed by Molli Surgical and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center has been approved by Health Canada and cleared by the FDA for commercial use.
“Our goal is to simplify the entire breast cancer care process,” Anath Ravi, president and CEO of Molli Surgical, told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday. “Easier for the patient. Easier for the radiologist who has to find the tumor and mark it for removal. And easier for the surgeon who has to remove the tumor.”
Through the implantation of a miniature marking device, also called a “seed,” radiologists and surgeons can locate tumor regions for removal. Using a handheld detector, also called a “magic wand,” surgeons can precisely remove tumors with minimal damage to the flesh.
This marking device emits no radiation, again being the size of a sesame seed.
“It benefits the patient because it gives them the confidence that the surgeon has the tools to remove the cancer with minimal cosmetic defect,” Ravi explained.
Angela Alexander-Roper, one of the first patients to be treated with this new technology, told Your Morning that the seed locating procedure was “absolutely painless.”
“When I had the lumpectomy, very little tissue was removed. You know, there is a small amount but very, very little,” she said.
Alexander-Roper found a lump in the upper part of her right breast during a soft exam in May. She found it two months after a routine mammogram that found no tumor.
“Of course it was very scary,” he recalled. “I contacted my doctor right away and she arranged an ultrasound for me and that showed something was not quite right. I was sent to have a deeper examination. I had a biopsy. She came back with a marker, so it looked like she wasn’t quite right.”
After her treatment team decided to perform a lumpectomy, Alexander-Roper opted to implant the seed instead of the previous procedure, in which a radiologist inserted an intrusive wire to locate abnormal areas in the breast.
“It really made me feel a lot better. The people who participated in the insertion were all very kind. And then I had another mammogram to make sure that she was seated and in the right place and then [the doctor] did the lumpectomy and was able to get all the margins. He was able to tell my husband right away that everything was fine. It was a tremendous relief for me.”
Learning that Alexander-Roper’s experience with this new procedure was flawless, Ravi said these results are “everything.”
“It’s why our team strives to bring this technology to Canadians close to home. We have a team of young innovators and this motivates them to keep looking for ways to improve the experience not only for patients but also for care teams that we know are completely overwhelmed with patient care. This is everything for us.”
Alexander-Roper is now “ready to go,” according to his doctor.
“I just need to get a mammogram again every two years. So that’s fine with me.”
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