Chandershekhar Sibal , Executive Vice President , Medical Division , Fujifilm India Private Limited
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females worldwide and India is not an exception. It is steadily increasing in our country. The National Cancer Registry projects that the number of breast cancer cases will rise from 1.34 lakh in 2015 to 1.79 lakh by 2020. It is estimated that 1 in 28 women is likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime, with the incidence rising among women in the early thirties and those aged 50–64. With an annual incidence of approximately 144,000 new cases, breast cancer has now become the most common female cancer in urban India.
According to experts, most of the cases in India are diagnosed very late resulting in low survival rates.The World Health Organization estimates that more than
60 percent of women in India were diagnosed with breast cancer at stage III or IV. Lack of awareness of cancer and screening for disease are significant contributory factors for the relatively late stage of the disease presentation and consequently low reported cancer incidences in India.
Though the above numbers look very grim, treatments for the disease have rapidly advanced in the recent past with new innovations in medical science. Doctors and researchers have come up with various technological advances providing hope to millions of women to begin a new life.
Half the battle is won if we have the facility to detect the disease early. Early detection presents a good chance of cure and long-term survival. Though regular screening programs help early identification of the disease, the absence of such facility has hampered India's battle against breast cancer.
Of late private companies have come out with new and innovative diagnostic facilities to help doctors in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer in India. Fujifilm India Pvt. Ltd., a pioneer in the development and application of imaging and information innovations for healthcare technologies, had partnered with different institutes all over India for the installation of its 50-Micron 3D Mammography machine – a highly advanced breast cancer diagnostic machine that has made early detection of breast cancer a reality for women. Fujifilm's advanced tomosynthesis technology reveals the internal structure of the breast thus simplifying the detection of lesions that get overlooked in a routine mammography.
Several features of Amulet Innovality offer women a safe and personalized screening experience, making it easier for them to come for breast examinations.This unique system caters to the unique biological makeup of every woman: The Intelligent Automatic Exposure Control (i-AEC) defines the optimum X-ray dosage for each breast type, compared to conventional AEC where the sensor position is fixed. A Direct Conversion flat-panel detector with a 50-micron pixel resolution, and other advanced technological features also gives this system a distinct edge over others. 50-micron is the best resolution and it helps detect cancer at a very early stage.
While the installation of the state-of-the-art Amulet Innovality is giving respite to women in India in their battle against breast cancer there is a greater need to expand such facility in other parts of the country, particularly in rural areas.
All these new innovations in medical science are facilitating better and accurate diagnosis in detecting cancerous breast lesions at an early stage. Inevitably this will help in increasing the survival rates.
Both globally and in India, the treatment of breast cancer is experiencing various breakthroughs. New technological advancements such as Amulet Innovality, tomosynthesis, AI, etc. will go a long way in providing better treatment to breast cancer patients. They are game changers for cancer patients across the country. However, the need of the hour is to spread awareness about such facilities among rural women so that more and more women can avail the facility for timely detection and proper treatment.