India: Blood test that can detect breast cancer now available

The diagnostic technique has been approved by WHO, FDA


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Representative Photo
Representative Photo

Published: Thu 23 Jun 2022, 9:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:22 PM

In a first-of-its-kind, a blood test can detect breast cancer at very early stages. It has been launched in India on Wednesday and has been made available by Datar Cancer Genetics, a private company which has partnered with the Apollo group of hospitals.

As per reports, the blood test can help in detecting breast cancer at an early stage for those who are above 40 years of age. This is an innovative diagnostic technique that has been adopted by 15 countries including several countries in Europe. According to the team of experts, this blood test has 99 per cent accuracy.

“As cases of cancer continue to be reported in India, cost of care or treatment for the management of patients is a major cause of concern. The only way by which we can pull down (cost of treatment) is by detecting patients at an early stage. If women are detected at an early stage of breast cancer, they can be treated effectively, leading to an increase in life expectancy and a reduction in treatment woes. So, I think will have a significant impact,” said Dr Chirantan Bose, Director, Patient’s care services, Datar Cancer Genetics Ltd.

The blood test had been approved by World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Food and Drug Administration in November last year after seeing the benefits during the largest clinical trials.

The doctor said, “It provides the largest clinical trials ever submitted to the WHO. In these particular tests, data was collected on breast cancer wherein more than 8,000 asymptomatic women were screened and were followed up for a period of 12 months time. The study is also available on our website.”

The study has shown stage 0 and stage 1 breast cancer cases were detected with an accuracy of 99 per cent.

The test, being branded as EasyCheck Breast, will cost Rs6,000. It is marketed as an annual test for healthy women above the age of 40 years who may not have any symptoms.

The technology claims to have nearly 99 per cent sensitivity, which means there is a less than 1 per cent chance of false-positive reports, with over 88 per cent specificity, which means that in about 22 per cent of cases there is a chance of a false negative.

“It’s not the replacement of mammograms but women who test positive for breast cancer using the new technology can go for conventional screening examinations and can straight away go for a biopsy and plan their treatment for cancer,” said Dr Ramesh Sarin, a senior surgical oncologist with Apollo hospital in Delhi.

The doctor further suggests that if a woman tests negative, then also she should go for other screening tests to rule out cancer completely.

“This is the first time in India that Apollo Centres in association with Datar Cancer Genetics brings this non-invasive blood test where it can detect breast cancers at an early stage in asymptomatic individuals with a high accuracy. This will help us save lives and preserve the quality of life,” said Sangeetha Reddy, JMD, Apollo hospitals.


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