Committed to continuous investment in the most advanced technologies in cancer care, Apollo Cancer Centres, ranked as the best private cancer hospital in India, in association with Datar Cancer Genetics brings a revolutionary blood test that can detect breast cancers at early stages in asymptomatic individuals with high accuracy, thus enabling timely diagnosis and treatment to save lives.
An increase in the number of breast cancer cases and the social construct associated with discussions of breast cancer has led to one of the most important developments in the history of technological advancement in the field of oncology. Led by the same urge to bring cancer conversations to the forefront, Apollo Cancer Centres, via this launch appeals to the women to get screened in the easiest way via a blood test to gain knowledge about their susceptibility to Breast Cancer. With an easy draw of a small quantity of blood, now, EasyCheck- Breast can help in the detection of breast cancer even before the first stage. The EasyCheck will be available across India on 22nd June at all Apollo Cancer Centres.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr Prathap Reddy, Founder & Chairman, Apollo Hospitals, said, “In line with our mission to spread awareness about early detection of cancers and offer world-class cancer treatment, the launch of EasyCheck Breast marks an important success towards quality technological advancements ensuring timely diagnosis and treatment to lower the mortality rate. This association with Datar Cancer Genetics has made a path-breaking achievement and at Apollo Cancer Centres, we are well equipped to diagnose breast cancers with the best-in-class advancements and treatments. I, humbly, request the caretakers of the family, the women of India, to step out for themselves and make sure to get themselves tested at least once a year to make sure you are safe from breast cancer. From diagnosis to treatment, Apollo Cancer Centres pledges to stand with their patients at all times and give them Tender Loving Care on the road to recovery. The word cancer was like a death sentence before, majority of the people faced serious consequences on account of cancer. The advances that have taken place, research being done, and clinical expertise has made a significant difference in treatment methodologies. The EasyCheck Breast is a marvelous gift for the women, because among all non-communicable diseases the cancers are the worst, they are growing at a 10 to 15% per annum. Having breast cancer is a terrible thing to hear for a woman, but if we can diagnose cancer early, it’s the most curable disease. Therefore, diagnosis is critical and today marks a major milestone in the history of India in bringing an easy test for detection of breast cancer with a simple blood test, which enables to detect breast cancer at an early stage. If detected early, makes it very easy to treat patients. Already its being done in 15 countries including USA, UK. In India Apollo has an exclusive arrangement with Datar Cancer Diagnostics, we will do it for our patients in all our centers across the country and in all our facilities abroad.”
Speaking about the product, Mr Rajan Datar, Founder & Chairman, Datar Cancer Genetics, said, “Unfortunately, most cancers are detected at advanced stages which necessitate more intensive and expensive treatments which have a greater risk of debilitating side effects and treatment failures. EasyCheck- Breast is the culmination of years of collaborative international research and innovation and has been developed, tested, and validated on population-sized cohorts. A simple blood draw holds the promise of early cancer detection in asymptomatic individuals and opens the possibilities of successful treatments and improved survival. Breast cancer is no longer a problem which can be wished away, many women with breast cancer are being detected much earlier than before. Earlier the age at which cancer was detected was 45, now it has come down to around 30 years. Currently mammography is used as a standard of care for detection of breast cancer, in India it is used as a recommendation but not yet widely adopted. This has led to a situation where most women are detected with breast cancer at stage 3 or 4, where the treatment is expensive, it is usually toxic, and outcomes are not encouraging. The best way to treat breast cancer is to detect it early and go for surgical intervention. The EasyCheck Breast test has been validated in forty thousand individuals, as part of a large clinical trial and the accuracy has been an outstanding at about 99% with virtually no false positives. This is very important because mammography today has poor diagnosis, as many women are detected with suspicion leading to a need for more tests and more investigations with many being found to be benign, which causes lot of anxiety to the patient and expense too. This blood test virtually eliminated any false positives with very high sensitivity. The test works on detection of circulating tumor cells which are released by tumors. We have developed this test in India with the help of Indian scientists and it’s the world’s best test available today. It is available across 20 countries of USA, UK and now in India through Apollo Hospitals at an affordable cost. It will be our privilege to offer our other tests for other cancers, to make the detection of the disease as early as possible at stage I and II. We wish to expand this to other cancers like colon cancer, lung cancer etc.”
On the occasion, Mr. Dinesh Madhavan, President Group Oncology and International, Apollo Hospital Enterprises Ltd said, “With the launch of Easy Check Breast, Apollo Cancer Centres and Datar Genetics is committed to ensure that we diagnose cancer at the earliest and this is the first step in winning over cancer. The late diagnosis of breast cancer remains the sole cause of high mortality rate in women with breast cancer in India. With Easy Check Breast, we address this root cause and make it earlier, easier.”
Dr Sudha S Murthy, Director, Clinical Support, Datar Cancer Genetics Ltd; said, in India the deaths due to breast cancer are as high as 50% of the incidence, while in Western countries the deaths are much lower to the incidence. In India we pick up cancers in late stages of Stage III or IV, while in West its much earlier due to their robust cancer screening programs, therefore it’s our responsibility to detect at an early stage. When it is detected early the mortality is much lesser. The EasyCheck Breast test is a simple blood test, which is non-invasive and doesn’t involve radiation of mammography. It is based on detection of circulating tumor cells, these cells are seen only in malignancies, this is the principle on which EasyCheck is based. The EasyCheck Breast test is being offered at a much subsidized cost of Rs 6000/-.
Dr TPS Bhandari, Consultant, Surgical Oncology, Apollo Cancer Centres, Hyderabad; said, breast cancer is the commonest form of cancer amongst women as of now, it accounts for nearly 13% of all cancers among both men and women in India, and among women alone it is 26%, accounting for nearly 1.8 lakh cases per year. Approximately 1 in 22 women get breast cancer. We need to detect breast cancers at an early stage. Only 10% of breast cancers are hereditary. Mammogram can catch a lesion only if it is 2 to 3 mm in size and the earliest a woman can feel the lump in breast only if it is 1 cm, certainly not before that. That 1cm breast lump contains 1mn cancer cells, these cancer cells get out of the lump and spread and therefore breast cancer is a very dangerous disease. It is important to detect cancer at stage zero, that is before cancer become invasive. At this stage the cure rate will be 100%, the cost of treatment protocols is minimal.
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women globally. It has now surpassed lung cancer as the leading cause of global cancer incidence in 2020, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases, representing 11.7% of all cancer cases. Epidemiological studies have shown that the global burden of Breast Cancer is expected to cross almost 2 million by the year 2030. In India, the incidence has increased significantly, almost by 50%, between 1965 and 1985. The estimated number of incident cases in India in 2016 was 118000. As per data, in India, Breast Cancer accounted for 13.5% (178361) of all cancer cases and 10.6% (90408) of all deaths in 2020.
In line with the mission to spread awareness about cancer & regular screening for early detection with EasyCheck- Breast, Apollo Cancer aims at addressing the pressing need for the right knowledge about early diagnosis, and holistic treatment in cancer care.