Early detection of breast cancer (iBreast)
Maina Foundation was established in 2008 dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer, promoting early detection and offering chemotherapy to women in need in India. IDS and Maina Foundation have been collaborating since 2019 with a new project, Wellness of Women: Integrated Screening Program for Early Detection of Breast Cancer. This project is being implemented by the K.J. Somaiya Medical College in Maharashtra, western India. The project aims to provide comprehensive screening for underprivileged women using the hand-held iBreast device developed by Mihir Shah, a Philadelphia-based engineer - the founder and CEO of UE Life Sciences. The iBreast is a simple diagnostic tool designed to perform painless, radiation free breast scans, providing results instantly at the point of care. The simple handheld device is placed on the breast tissue, sensors on the device which are seen as 16 square blocks scans the tissue. Normal healthy tissue reads as green and any abnormality as red.
The 2020 project plan was to reach women in both rural and urban areas, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown, only 365 urban women underwent Clinical Breast Examinations (CBE) using the device. Thankfully, no cases of breast cancer were detected during this period. While pandemic caused many disruptions to project outreach and implementation, Maina being a holistic health project, the team took the opportunity to screen women for anaemia, hypertension and diabetes and treated those with these complaints with appropriate medications.
The project, in the coming year plans to expand its geographic coverage to reach more women in both low and middle-income groups.