The Smart Bra: The Future of Cancer Prevention

It is no secret that breast cancer is a major disease, accounting for 22.9% of all cases and leading to the death of approximately 500,000 women a year. With one in eight women being effected worldwide at some point in their life, early detection is key. Up until recently, these took the form of doctor exams or self-examinations. However, within a few years, there may very well be an early detection system that women can wear and which never stops working.

It’s known as the Breast Tissue Screening Bra, or Smart Bra as many like to call it. Developed in 2008 by the company First Warning Systems, in Reno, Nevada, the bra is designed act as a continuous exam device. As an alternate to self-exams and the somewhat controversial mammography, early tests indicated that it may actually be the most effective form of cancer screening to date.

The bra accomplishes all this by relying on a series of internal sensors and pattern recognition software. By detecting tiny temperature changes that occur as blood vessels grow and feed tumors, the bra is able to identify the presence of tumors while still in early formation, and up to six years before they would be  detectable by mammogram and twelve years before they could be removed by surgery.

Thus far, First Warning Systems has conducted three clinical trials using a total of 650 participants. So far, the results have been favorable, with the bra showing a 92.1 percent level of accuracy in detecting and classifying tumors. This is compared to a 70 percent accuracy rating as seen in routine mammograms. At present, the company plans to being releasing the bra in Europe by 2013 and, pending FDA approval, in the United States by 2014.

Personally, I don’t think this product can reach the market soon enough. With luck, it could very well signal a new era in the ongoing struggle to put an end to cancer. And who knows? If this works out, perhaps a similar garment could be developed for men, a pair of shorts that help with the screening of testicular and prostate cancer. Combined with nanomachines that are capable of monitoring our hearts, brains, lungs, pancreas and other internal organs, we may very well be able to stop cancer through early detection and prevention.

Here’s hoping! Meanwhile, check out this video of the Smart Bra’s design and workings.


8 thoughts on “The Smart Bra: The Future of Cancer Prevention

    1. Fo sho! And it put me in mind of this plastic sheet that some American inventors came up with years and years ago. It was simple and proved to be effective, but the FDA drowned them in paperwork and they went bankrupt.

  1. The advancements in all fields today is astounding, Matt. Thanks again for bringing this info onto my computer screen.
    As you suggested; this opens up the way for many other types of cancer detection… Blows my mind, really…!

  2. This is quite interesting and of particular interest to me as a breast oncology nurse.
    If this is the real thing it would be an enormous benefit but I’d wonder if the mechanism by which this bra works exposes the woman to radiation and if so what is the risk to benefit ratio. Also there is the matter of cost. Would the average woman be able to afford this?
    Nonetheless this sound promising if not downright geekified. Ingenious. Right?
    As of now I think the best diagnostic tool for breast cancer is a patient who knows her body well.

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