A New Bra Has Been Designed To Detect Breast Cancer


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, which means it’s a great time to hear about a new development in early detection. If you live in the states (and even if you don’t) there’s a very good chance that you personally know someone who either survived or succumbed to breast cancer. And even if you don’t, we’ve seen many celebrities, like Giuliana Rancic, Cynthia Nixon, and Christina Applegate come forward and speak about their personal experiences with the disease. By now, we all know that early detection is key and now scientists are backing a new bra that’s actually been designed to detect cancerous changes in cells and breast tissue. On the one hand, there’s something really bizarre-sounding about this, but ultimately I think this is fantastic news. Except for the part where the bra will coast abou $1,000, lol. Click inside to learn more.

Fashionista has the story:

According to Medcity News (via Gizmodo), First Warning Systems has developed the first “ultrasonic breast cancer detection device” (that really needs a sexier name), which is basically a jerry-rigged sports bra that can tell you if any nasty cells are growing where they aren’t supposed to be.

Mammograms, the current gold standard for breast cancer detection, have limitations–false results, discomfort, and exposure to radiation are three of the biggies. They’re also not great for women under 40 who have denser breast tissue, making it harder for the mammo to pick up suspicious masses, according to the Mayo Clinic.

This bra uses sensors that can detect heat changes in breast tissue–a potential sign that there’s tumor activity–and then sends that info to a computer where it’s analyzed…

It’s already undergone three clinical trials, with a fourth planned, with some pretty amazing results: The device can detect cancer cells up to six years earlier than traditional diagnostic imaging. It sounds like it’ll hit Europe in 2013, and then hit the US in 2014 after FDA approval.

But it’s not like, say, a pregnancy test that you can just pick up for consumer use. It requires a “capital investment of less than $1,000″ (which is still like Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bra territory) and will likely need a doctor’s prescription/monitoring.

Now, I don’t know how many people will actually have the $1,000 to get this bra when it first comes out, but I’m thinking this is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, as technology advances, something like this will become a more affordable purchase (we’ve seen the same happen with cell phones and computers) over time. I can really see it doing a lot of good.

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  • Lauren xx

    I think this will be a great tool for women who are at high risk or have family history with breast cancer.

    For most women, we really need to be up on checking ourselves, and familiarizing ourselves with what feels and looks normal, so we’ll notice faster when something isn’t right. I’m betting most women aren’t really giving themselves self-breast exams like we’re supposed to. (I know I’m not… at least not regularly.)

    • Shannon

      Lauren xx, I think you’re right. It sounds like it will also benefit younger women who cannot have a mammogram– from what I understand they’re really only effective in women 40+

      What’s crazy is, it’s sooo easy to self-check! Hopefully we’ll all get more consistent with that, especially as we get older.

  • Joanna

    I wish this type of bra was around when my mom was diagnosed. She found out via a mammogram one year later than she should have. The doctor’s office didn’t think the spot on the test was important to tell her until a year later. Fortunately for her she had very low stage cancer and has been in remission for over 10 years. Needless to say she has switched to a different office for her mammograms these days.

    • Shannon

      Joanna, thanks for sharing this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a story like this (about late detection), which is why I like the idea of something like this.

      I’m so glad to hear your Mom is healthy. Take care of her– everybody gets one!

  • Zaggora Girl

    This is great news! Thank you for sharing this! Do you know where the product will be sold?

    • Shannon

      Zaggora Girl, no idea yet! The product still has to be approved by the FDA.