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.