October 30, 2009
Royal Surrey County Hospital one of the first in the country to offer procedure
Patients with breast cancer at the Royal Surrey County Hospital are benefiting from an innovative and quicker way of operating on and treating the disease.
Women undergoing breast cancer surgery are now being offered a one step diagnostic test - known as OSNA ‘One Step Nucleic Acid Amplification' - that can be carried out while the patient is still in the operating theatre, avoiding the need for a second operation if the cancer is found to have spread to the lymph nodes.
A test is carried out on the lymph nodes while the patient is having their breast surgery.
The biggest advantage for the women having the test is the greatly reduced anxiety of waiting for two weeks to find out if the cancer has spread to their lymph nodes. If the cancer has not spread they receive immediate reassurance on the day of their operation that their prognosis is good and are able to move straight onto their radiotherapy treatment. For those women where their cancer has spread, the affected lymph nodes are removed immediately without the need for a second admission, anaesthetic and more surgery, which means they can move onto their chemotherapy faster. This work has been presented at national and international meetings.
Mark Kissin, Breast Surgeon at the Royal Surrey County Hospital said:
"This is a significant breakthrough for all women and means that the Breast Unit at the Royal Surrey County Hospital is a leader in the treatment of breast cancer. We are all committed to improving patient care and experience and this is a perfect example of how we are doing this by streamlining the diagnostic process.
"The Royal Surrey is one of only two Trusts in the country pioneering this new procedure. We are a national mentor for OSNA and we are working in collaboration with the National Technology Adoption Centre to roll out the technique to the rest of the UK."
So far 150 women have been treated using OSNA and the unit is hoping to offer the procedure to greater numbers of women over the coming year.
Professor Graham Layer, Breast Surgeon at the Royal Surrey County Hospital said:
"We are very excited to be able to now offer the OSNA technique to our patients having been the lead centre in a major study carried out to develop and assess the procedure.
"The women my colleagues and I have treated so far using this technique have been delighted with the process and it has helped to alleviate their concerns about waiting for their results and potentially having to undergo more surgery. For those women with a positive result with spread into their lymph nodes, we are able to deal with that much more quickly than if we had waited for the results of routine pathology tests following a traditional breast cancer operation."
The Breast Unit at the Royal Surrey has also expanded its team with the appointment of new breast Consultant Miss Tracey Irvine. Miss Irvine will also be offering the OSNA technique to her patients diagnosed with breast cancer, as well bringing wider expertise, in breast reconstruction and conservation surgery, to the team at the Trust.
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