Bra ads are everywhere. Every time I turn on the TV, there's a half-naked model traipsing down the runway with the newest bra on the market, made to push up, push out, or hold in. But I've never seen an ad for bra with a better purpose: breast cancer detection. Until now, that is.
First Warning Systems, a company out of Reno, Nevada, has developed a Breast Tissue Screening Bra that is able to detect breast tissue changes. The company argues that there are 48 million mammograms performed annually, resultant in approximately 1 million subsequent biopsies, of which two-thirds are negative for malignancy.
The company claims their technology can detect tumors before they are detectable by self-exam or mammogram. The bra, which does not expose the patient to radiation or other toxins, is worn for 12 hours. During this time, the temperature sensors within the bra assess deep tissue temperature changes, which researchers believe may be indicative of angiogenesis.
Interestingly, the company claims the bra can detect signs of cancer just three to four years after the first gene mutation, whereas mammograms can only detect tumor growth no sooner than ten years.
The results of three clinical trials are promising. Of the over 650 women in the trials, the results demonstrated a 92.1 percent sensitivity, and 94.7 percent specificity, with false readings being less than 10 percent. The fourth and final clinical trial will be next year, which is when we should learn the results from all four studies.
The product will be released in Europe as early as next year, and, if they obtain US FDA approval, the bra could possibly be available in the US by 2014. The cost of it has not yet been made public, however, the company believes that the generated reports will cost in the $25 range. Now, if only they could develop a set of underwear for ovarian cancer prevention -- it could be sold as a set for those patients who are BRCA-mutation positive!
How do you feel about this bra? Would you wear it?
Castillo, Michelle. Bra aims to detect breast cancer before mammogram. Available at http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57532759/bra-aims-to-detect-breast-cancer-before-mammogram/.