Imagine how all the Octobers of the future could have better survivor stats to report if women had access to a non-invasive, painless and highly precise breast cancer screening tool that we could slip on as easily as our favorite workout gear. According to an intriguing CNET article, this fantasy may soon be reality thanks to a new “Smart Bra” that is in the works. The potentially lifesaving garment essentially offers women a wearable, continuous breast exam and appears to have the ability to detect breast cancer tumors earlier and with more accuracy than routine mammography.
CNET reports that the Breast Tissue Screening Bra, which is being designed and tested by a company called First Warning Systems, has built in sensors that measure tiny temperature changes that occur as blood vessels grow and feed tumors. Each sensor communicates with pattern recognition software to help spot possible tumors long before a hand or mammogram likely would. To put the importance of this advanced level of early detection in perspective, First Warning Systems says breast cancer tumors “grow for an average of 12 years (to 4 centimeters in diameter) before being surgically removed.”
Sound too good to be true? Not so. According to the article, the Breast Tissue Screening Bra is already delivering on its promises in testing, “Over three clinical trials with 650 participants, the bra has been found to detect the beginnings of tumors as many as six years before imaging can, and boasts a 92.1 percent level of accuracy at correctly classifying them – far greater than the 70 percent accuracy seen in routine mammograms.”
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, the CNET blogger behind the article, points out that one in eight women will face a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. This is an alarming statistic, so we are all for any new technological breakthroughs that can alter if not eliminate these numbers altogether. If that technology happens to be as comfortable as a sports bra and super accurate to a fault, then we cannot wait to see if this “Smart Bra” continues to live up to its full potential.
We encourage you to watch this video, which goes into easy-to-understand detail about the development and growth of breast cancer tumors and how the First Warning Systems bra works in relation.