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Can This Bra Detect Breast Cancer?


A Nevada-based company claims their new bra might be able to detect breast cancer. Just how can lingerie work something like a mammogram?

First Warning Systems' new bra comes equipped with sensors embedded in the cups that pick up changes in the temperature of breast tissue and issue a "thermal thumbprint" that will allow doctors to take a closer look at potentially malignant tissue.

According to the company’s website, the data generated by the sports bra can predict the presence of breast cancer with 90 percent specificity and sensitivity. Women wear it for 12 hours to accumulate a stable enough reading of temperature, and the measurements are fed into the company’s algorithm that then spits out a result: normal, benign, suspected for breast tissue abnormalities, or probable for breast tissue abnormalities.

While this sounds like a good idea, the concept of using temperature to measure breast tissue might not be ready for "prime time" just yet, Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, told Time magazine.

“Hypothetically, it’s conceivable that malignant processes would have a temperature gradient compared to non-malignant tissues,” Dr. Bevers says. “But that gradient may not be very large.”

With one in eight women expected to experience breast cancer in her lifetime, it's nice to imagine a tool that can detect cancer simply by wearing it. Still, the bra may be ahead of itself. Bottom line? Don't skip out on your yearly mammogram and remember to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to reduce your risk of developing cancer.


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