A Closer Look at the New Cancer Detecting Bra
A bra might be the closest thing to a woman's heart. Now, a Nevada company believes finding breast cancer could be as close as wearing their new "Smart Bra."
The bra, developed by Smart Warning Systems, detects possible cancer cells with temperature sensors inside a sports bra. Women wear it for 12 hours while it measures heat patterns. The data is classified ranging from "normal" to "probable for breast tissue abnormalities." The breast health analysis report is then sent to a physician.
"Against the screening mammogram, we're finding that the mammo was accurate to about 70 percent on average whereas the First Warning System was accurate to about 90 percent, 90 percent plus on average," said Matt Benardis, Chief of Operations for First Warning Systems.
The "Smart Bra" is not on the market yet. First Warning Systems predicts it will be released in Europe early next year. It still has to go through another round of clinical trials in the U.S. before hitting the American market, likely in 2014.
"I think this is still something a bit on the fringe, certainly not something in the mainstream for screening for breast cancer," said Radiologist Dr. Lisa Schneider with West Health in Plymouth.
Mammograms are the medical standard for detecting breast cancer.
"Mammography has enjoyed a long history and been subjected to many trials, many studies, demonstrating that is a proven way of detecting breast cancer and has made a difference in reducing mortality from breast cancer," Schneider said.
"The audience we would like to address are those that the mammogram is not applicable to, or at least robustly applicable to, and that tends to be women under the age of 40 or women with dense breasts," Bendardis said.
About one in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. There were more than 230 thousand new cases diagnosed in 2011. Other than non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States.