Mumbai, March 2, 2011
Cipla, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies from India, launched a breakthrough screening technology in India today called the 'No Touch Breast Scan (NTBS);' the first-ever painless, non-invasive and radiation-free breast scanning technique for detecting breast cancer at an early stage.
As of today, 1 in every 22 women in India is expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
Dr. Shekhar Kulkarni, Consultant Breast Cancer Surgeon, Magnolia Breast Surgery Clinic, Pune said, "Breast cancer is rising rapidly among urban women and is now the most common cancer in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi. Unfortunately most cancers are diagnosed when the disease is advanced leading to low chances of cure. Although Mammography has been available for years it is not used that widely. There are many reasons for it such as lack of awareness, pain and discomfort during the procedure and a concern about repeated exposure to radiation. Welcoming the introduction of NTBS in India, Dr. Rakesh Sinha, Consultant Gynaecologist Surgeon, BEAMS Hospital, Mumbai said, "The No-Touch Breast scan is a painless option for women who wish to get themselves regularly screened. It is of particular use in younger women who have dense breasts and mammography is inconclusive. If a woman shows changes on the NTBS then she is sent for further investigation which includes mammography, sonography etc. At BEAMS Mumbai, of the 41 patients who have undergone the NTBS test, only 1 had to be referred for mammography."
Thermal imaging has been approved by the FDA several years ago for early diagnosis of breast cancer. With improvements in digital camera technology during the last few years, thermal imaging is fast gaining acceptance. Developed by UE Life Sciences Inc, the 'No Touch Breast Scan' is the World's first fully computerized 'thermal imaging technology' with dual IR cameras which can find thermal changes at less than 0.08 deg. C. The NTBS using infrared imaging creates a sophisticated heat-map of the breast without using any radiation. Breast cancer is associated with increased formation of new blood vessels and these show up as 'hot spots' which could indicate a cancerous growth.
At Dr Kulkarni's Magnolia Beauty and Clinic in Pune, the NTBS test was taken by about 165 women and only 12 of them needed further investigation. Mrs. Ambike, an asymptomatic woman who has untaken the NTBS test said, "I had taken a mammography test earlier but it was quite traumatic. With this totally touch-free and quick NTBS test, I would not defer my annual check-up anymore."
The 'No-Touch Breast Scan' would be exclusively marketed by Cipla across diagnostic centres and hospitals in India. It has already been installed at BEAMS Hospital, Mumbai and Indore and Magnolia Beauty and Clinic, Pune and would be extended by Cipla on a requirement-basis to over 20 more diagnostic centres or hospitals across India. Addressing the press, Dr. Jaideep Gogtay, Medical Director Cipla said, "Cipla has been working in the area of cancer by manufacturing drugs for the last 20 years but this is for the first time we have taken a step towards focusing on early diagnosis of breast cancer.
There are 3 NTBS machines available in the US, UK, Turkey and Kazakhstan, but women in India would have greater access to this landmark technology and have more control over their breast health."
The cost of per NTBS test would range between Rs 800 - 1000, depending on the pricing determined individually by the hospitals and centres.
Quick Facts on Breast cancer in India
• Breast Cancer has practically replaced cervical cancer as the leading site of cancer among women in all urban cancer registries
• As of today, 1 in every 22 women in India in their lifetime is expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer
• More than 92% of breast cancers are diagnosed at stage II or later
• 1 out of every 2 women diagnosed with breast cancer does not survive the disease; mostly due to late stage diagnosis.
• Counter to common thinking, breast cancer is in fact a younger woman's disease, it is more prevalent in urban than rural parts and the rates are dramatically rising, faster than any other female cancer.
• According to a study by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) a branch of WHO, there will be approximately 250,000 new cases of breast cancer in India by 2015.
• According to National Institutes of Health, nearly 90% diagnosed will survive at least 5 years
For further information, please contact: