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Newmarket hospital’s new technology means less-invasive surgery for breast cancer patients
Lisa Queen
Nov. 14, 2023

Talk about “LiPS” service.

Southlake Regional Health Centre breast cancer patients will benefit from a new, less-invasive technology at the hospital, thanks in part to a group of community-minded women.

The Ladies in Philanthropy for Southlake (LiPS) is supporting the introduction of magnetic breast seeds for women undergoing breast cancer surgery, bringing the technology to Southlake for the first time.

The technology sees tiny magnetic seeds injected into the breast at the location of the tumour/lesion) with a needle prior to surgery, according to Southlake Foundation spokesperson Dionne Malcolm.

During breast surgery, surgeons use a detector wand to identify the location of the seed, thereby pinpointing the location of a tumour or lesion. The combination of smaller and more accurate technology for tumour identification during surgery is what allows procedures to be less invasive for patients, she said.

LiPS is a group of women philanthropists who each make an annual donation of $1000 to Southlake to support the care and well-being of the community while building a social network of engaged women across York Region, Malcolm said.

Each year, they vote to direct their collective contributions to a critical need at Southlake after hearing presentations from a select group of clinicians at the hospital, she said.

Choosing to donate $27,000 to the winning proposal was a tough call, Sarah Powell, chair of the LiPS steering committee, said.

“We were pitched three very deserving projects and it was not an easy decision,” she said.

“This (the magnetic seeds) will make a huge difference to patients being treated for breast cancer at Southlake. Being able to make an impact like this in our community, especially for women, is truly what being a member of LiPS is all about.”

About 200 women a year will benefit from the magnetic seed technology, which is considerably less invasive and more accurate for the surgical treatment of breast tumours or lesions, ensuring a better patient experience and better cosmetic outcomes for patients.

Puneet Sandhu, director of surgical, maternal and pediatric programs, praised the group’s donation.

“Thanks to LiPS and their support, we’ll be able to bring this leading edge technology to breast cancer surgeries at Southlake,” she said.

“Not only will these seeds improve clinical efficiency, but they will also improve clinical outcomes for our patients, which is something we are so excited to be able to provide.”

Foundation president Jennifer Ritter thanked LiPS for its ongoing support.

“Over the last 11 years, they have raised over $700,000 for Southlake, funding critically needed equipment and life-saving programs,” she said.

“To see a passionate and dynamic group of women so dedicated to improving health care in their community is truly inspiring.”

Learn more about LiPS and upcoming social events at: connect with them via email at: or follow them on Instagram: @lips_southlake.

New members are welcome.