Research has found that breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in India. This type of cancer also takes second place among the most common cancer types around the globe, with figures showing that of the more than 680,000 women who succumb to this fatal cancer annually, some 90,000 are in India.
Researchers believe that one of the primary reasons behind the high rate of mortality in India is that symptoms in most patients present during the advanced stages of the ailment. Efforts to increase breast cancer awareness and population-scale screening with methods for early detection could decrease costs of treatment, improve rates of survival and tackle the ailment’s prevalence.
Experts believe that artificial intelligence (“AI”) based screening solutions can be used to improve rates of breast cancer detection, having already demonstrated that the integration of technology with AI produces positive results in different healthcare domains, such as oncology. AI-based computer-aided detection algorithms can also improve the speed and accuracy of cancer diagnosis.
Currently, however, mammography is a technique that is commonly used to screen for breast cancer, with roughly 65% sensitivity in women with dense breast tissue. However, its usage in middle- and low-income countries is restricted, due to the skill required for mammogram interpretation and the cost of equipment.
Breast ultrasonography, which is another screening technique, has shown higher sensitivity than mammography. However, its use is mainly dependent on the experience and skill of the clinician.
This makes the most common technique for breast cancer screening in the country to be a clinical breast examination because it doesn’t need any equipment. It is also affordable but is dependent on healthcare workers to carry out the test.
Presently, India is experiencing a shortage of more than 25,000 healthcare personnel, which means that workers are already overburdened with family planning, child and maternal health and activities associated with immunization.
With only about 54 mammography machines available for more than 750 district hospitals in India, there’s also a need for portable AI-based technologies for breast cancer screening. This will make screening affordable as well as practical and accessible.
Portable breast cancer screening tests will also increase access to screening in rural areas, which will in turn decrease existing health inequalities and improve survival rates of patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer while it’s in its early stages.
Experts also believe that exploring the use of alternative screening methods such as thermal imaging, combined with artificial intelligence will make for comfortable, quick and efficient screening experiences. Several companies such as AnPac Bio-Medical Science Co. Ltd (NASDAQ: ANPC) are opting to approach this problem from the angle of developing early screening technology, which can detect multiple cancers, a move that could increase accessibility as well as the affordability of cancer screening.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to AnPac Bio-Medical Science Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: ANPC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/ANPC
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