India

The Breast Cancer Problem in India

India is at the forefront of developing some of the world’s top doctors and its private hospital system is world-renowned. This beckons the question: Why are its citizens so sick? The incidence of breast cancer in India is on the rise. Breast cancer has now eclipsed cervical cancer as the leading cause of cancer for all women in India. While the reason more women are developing breast cancer is the subject of debate, it is clear India’s healthcare system is not adequately prepared to screen for breast cancer or treat it.

Health Economics of Screening

When taking the cost of treatment into consideration, MammoAlert™ provides an 82% reduction in healthcare costs. This staggering economic benefit is one of the primary drivers behind the Ministry of Health's mandate to implement MammoAlert™ as a breast cancer screening tool across India.

Unveiling

POC Medical Systems Inc. unveiled a rapid, portable breast cancer screening test, MammoAlert™ based on its Pandora CDx™ microfluidics-based platform. Smt Amruta Fadnavis, Hon. Dr Deepak Sawant, Health Minister & Hon. Minister Mr. Prakash Mehta, Housing Department were present to do the unveiling. The blood-based test will be launched initially in India where established screening methods are not widely accessible to large populations of women. The test is the first application of the company’s platform.
Commenting on the launch of MammoAlert, Honourable Smt Amruta Fadnavis said: “I am extremely proud and feel honored to be part of a movement to promote early screening of breast cancer. I would like to congratulate POC Medical Systems for its commitment towards making cancer screening accessible and affordable”. She especially stressed on the ‘Shame’ aspect. In her words, “Till now women had to go through the humiliation of exposing herself to get tested for ‘Breast Cancer’, which was one of the biggest deterrence in India. With ‘MammoAlert, now the women can get screened with the help of simple blood test”.
While talking about the technology, Maharashtra Health Minister, Hon. Dr Deepak Sawant said, “In India, as per the current statistics, over 1.5 lakh women are diagnosed with breast cancer and almost half i.e. 70,000 deaths are reported every year, a woman succumbs to breast cancer every seven minutes in this country. With this innovation, we can aspire to save so many precious lives. This technology makes cancer screening within the reach of common man across geographies, which already is a big goal for the Government”.
Mr Sanjeev Saxena, Founder President and CEO, POC Medical Systems Inc. said, “Breast cancer is a nonexistent entity for a majority of population till a near and dear one suffers from it. Healthcare is still low on priority and even in major cities, screening is an ‘alien' word. POC has developed this technology to strengthen the healthcare system and enhance the disease fighting capabilities. MammoAlert is a screening tool which detects if a particular woman is affected by breast cancer and the intensity of it in real time. Being an Indian American and after dedicating 2 decades of my life to cancer prevention, it is a moment of pride and nostalgia for me to bring a lifesaving technology to India. We have developed a disruptive technology which allows medical diagnostics to be brought to common people, especially in villages and tier 3 and 4 cities through a distributed but connected Point of Care model using a lab in a Box in the form of a microfluidics CD. Basically, it is a new field called ‘Digital Healthcare’, but working with meaningful samples which is the blood, where all the body information is stored. So, we are at the intersection of medtech and digital health with a big data component”. He further added, “The Pandora CDx Point-of-Care System, over the period will enable the patient screening for life threatening illnesses including different types of cancers (e.g. Prostate, Oral, Cervical), Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Cardiac Disorders. POC’s ultimate goal with the technology platform is to help save millions of lives through early stage screening and detection, and in turn, significantly reduce medical treatment costs”.