Breast cancer ‘metal detector’ aims to stop and treat tumours

Magtrace also stains the lymph nodes dark brown, which helps with identification when doctors do a biopsy.

(Michelle Roberts/ BBC News) — A noisy gadget that works in a similar way to a metal detector is being recommended in draft guidance for the NHS to help spot and treat breast cancer that may have spread.

The Sentimag probe detects magnetised liquid, called Magtrace, injected into the tissue around the cancer.

It tracks the fluid’s journey – bleeping as it moves over the skin – to show where cancer may have seeded.

A surgeon can then sample or biopsy the region to check if cancer is present.

The draft recommendation by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) could help more hospitals in England and Wales perform checks. (…)

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