New device detects breast cancer via blood test in 15 minutes

17 March 2017

The Maharashtra government may carry out a pilot project to test the efficacy of a new blood test-based device that claims to detect breast cancer within 15 minutes.

State health minister Dr Deepak Sawant said at the global launch of the device, MammoAlert, in Mumbai, "We will run a pilot in areas where the incidence of breast cancer is high."

He said over 1.5 lakh women are diagnosed with breast cancer across India every year and 70,000 die due to its complications every year. "With this innovation, we can aspire to save many lives. This technology makes cancer screening within the reach of the common man across geographies,'' Sawant said.

The central government recently announced a population-based screening programme to detect cancers of the breast, cervix and oral cavity.

A Silicon Valley company on Wednesday unveiled the device that "can be carried on a motorbike'' from village-to-village for testing, said owner Sanjeev Saxena. He added that the test has over 95 per cent accuracy and zero rate of false positive. He likened the test to a rapid blood sugar test to detect diabetes.

The inauguration was also attended by Amruta Fadnavis, wife of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, and women & child development minister Vidya Thakur.

Saxena said the test will soon get US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and European CE clearances, and they are looking at a July launch.

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