New Breast Cancer Treatment

January 25, 2018

An innovative technology has created a new option with big benefits for breast cancer patients. Kettering Health Network is the first health system in the Dayton area to offer radioactive seed localization.

Traditionally, when surgeons needed to pinpoint the location of a breast tumor for surgical removal they used a technique called wire localization.

“Wire localization is a method where a wire is placed near a tumor prior to surgery,” explains Kettering Physician Network breast surgeon, Roxane Weighall, DO. “When this method is used, the patient is transported to the operating room with the wire protruding from their breast. This can cause limited mobility and discomfort for patients.” 

Radioactive seed localization (RSL) offers a new approach in which a radiologist places a “seed” about the size of a grain of rice near the tumor 1-5 days before surgery. During surgery, the seed can be tracked by the surgeon allowing for the tumor’s location to be determined with extreme accuracy. When the tumor is removed, the seed is removed with it.

"The placement of the seed is more convenient and comfortable for a patient,” says diagnostic radiologist William Meyers, DO. “The patient no longer needs to be transported to the operating room with a wire protruding from their skin. This makes RSL not only safer, but a more precise, comfortable, and convenient alternative to the traditional method." 

In addition to patient comfort, the precision of RSL provides surgeons a better opportunity to remove an entire tumor on a first procedure.

“Studies consistently show use of RSL instead of wire localization reduces the rate of patients needing to return to the operating room for a second procedure,” says Kettering Physician Network general surgeon Carol Sawmiller, MD. “This is a great benefit to patients, as well as a step towards reducing overall cost for treatment.” 

For more information on radioactive seed localization call (937) 558-3711.