Reducing stress in breast cancer care with wireless localisation surgery

Earlier this year we met with Umaymah (May) Nisar, a Breast Care Nurse at Manchester Foundation Trust in the UK. May is part of a specialist team at the Nightingale Centre, Europe’s first-ever purpose-built breast cancer prevention and treatment centre.

The centre was one of the first in the UK to adopt the Magseed® marker. Historically, the hospital had used guidewire localisation as their main method for guiding surgeons to the site of the cancers for removal.

As a specialist nurse in the breast clinic, we wanted to ask May about her experiences with patients and what she thought about both wire and wireless localisation.

Why do you think the Nightingale Centre has chosen to move on from wire localisation?

May: "Before we started using the Magseed® marker, we used guide wires for women who didn't have a palpable lump. They would come in on the morning of their surgery and we localised the area with a wire.

We inserted the wire into the breast and then the patient would go to the ward and wait to go down to surgery. They have the wire left in until surgery which on a very busy day, could be for six hours or more.

We saw that women were anxious about the wire due to how they could see it exposed from their breast. One of the main worries was about dislodging the wire, especially if they had a long wait time before surgery.

Even if they were sat waiting hours for surgery, we found that patients didn’t want to do anything because they worried about moving the wire. Often the wire also caused discomfort and being in pain isn’t nice or good for any patient."

Did switching to the Magseed® marker make any difference for patients?

May: "The Magseed® marker has made such a difference to patients. We can insert the Magseed® marker on a different day before surgery. We combine this with the patient’s pre-op assessment.

It makes the day of the surgery better for the patient as they don't have different procedures to worry about, they have more time to build themselves up emotionally to having the surgery done.

For patients with a Magseed® marker, we find that they can be first on the list because they can go straight to the ward before surgery. This helps reduce their anxiety too.

The insertion of the Magseed® marker can take place up to a month before surgery and patients cannot feel it. Patients can get on with their normal life until the surgery. It’s better for the patient’s journey to have a treatment that can reduce their stress.

Here at the Nightingale Centre, all the different teams work together under one roof, and we’re supportive of each other, ultimately we all want to make the patient’s journey as smooth as possible."

Find out more about the Magseed® marker here