Breast cancer will soon be detectable through the use of a bra that uses infrared technology, helping women all around the world to quickly and easily detect the disease in its earliest stages. The bra could save thousands of lives, the Express has reported.
The bra has been invented by a team of researchers at the National University of Columbia in the School of Electric Technology, and they hope that the prototype will soon be mass produced and introduced to the market to make it easily available for women. Currently, the bra is being tested in the lab and does not yet have a name.
Fusion have reported that the anti-breast cancer bra works through the use of tiny infrared sensors. These sensors record breast temperatures and alert the wearer if there are any abnormalities. The wearer can then immediately consult a doctor and catch the disease in its earliest stages. In breast tissue, any abnormal cells require an extra blood supply, and this consequently raises the temperature of the area. To detect a baseline temperature, the user will do a scan when the bra is first put on. Electrical engineering student and developer Maria Camila Cortes explained to Fusion.
“When you have cells in your mammary glands that are anomalous, the body needs to send more blood to that specific part of the body, and the temperature of this organ increases…”
“We don’t want to replace a doctor’s job. The idea is to develop a technique that will help with [early] detection. It also keeps a record of temperatures, so doctors have a number of readings to consult.”
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and one in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death among women, with lung cancer being first. The exact causes of breast cancer are unclear, but there are various risk factors. The most significant risk factor are advancing age and family history, but there are also other lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption, smoking, and being overweight.
As with all types of cancer, early detection is crucial and plays a huge role in survival statistics. In the United States alone, more than 230,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually and more than 40,000 of these women pass away each year. However, thanks to improved screening, early detection, improved awareness, and constantly improving treatment options, the death rates from breast cancer have been in decline for the last 25 years.
The development of this breast cancer detecting bra could help to further improve survival rates when it reaches the market. Although more breast cancers are being detected early thanks to advances in screening plus improved awareness, there is always more that can be done. The bra will be an easy way to monitor the breast tissue and detect any abnormalities, but wearers will still need to carry out regular self examinations and attend screenings.
The researchers who designed the bra hope that their invention will save thousands of lives around the world through detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages. Although there is currently just one bra in existence, the team plan to have the bra mass produced and be made easily available to women and at an affordable price.
[Image via Shutterstock]