A device has been launched in the state that uses blood samples to screen breast cancer in 15 minutes. The state government has planned a trial of the newly-launched device.
At the launch of the device — MammoAlert, manufactured by a Silicon Valley based start-up — on Wednesday, state health minister Dr Deepak Sawant said, “We will run a pilot in Maharashtra, in areas where the incidence of breast cancer is high,” he said.
Manufacturers of the device said the device estimates specific protein makers present in the woman’s blood sample. “The result is displayed on a phone connected to the device,” said Sanjeev Saxena, the founder of the device.
“The test checks if specific breast cancer ‘pathways’ are activated or not,” he said while adding that if the test results are positive, an imaging confirmatory test such as mammography should be performed.
The additional advantages of the test, are that there is no radiation exposure and it is very cost-effective. The test will cost one fourth the cost of a mammogram test. The average cost of mammogram test in India is between Rs1,500 and Rs 2,000,
Dr Sawant said the test will especially benefit women living in rural areas who have no access to screening facilities.
“The current statistics show that more than 1.5 lakh women are diagnosed with breast cancer and half of these succumb to the disease. With this innovation we can aspire to save lives by early detection,” he said.
While the device is likely to get United States Food and Drug Administration approval in the next nine months, it will be available in India from June.