Breast cancer is leading cause of cancer-related deaths among females in both developed and developing nations. It's also the most frequently diagnosed cancer, but early detection is vital — there is 5-year survival rates at approximately 80 percent, if detected it's in the early stages.
Helping to make early detection even earlier is First Warning Systems, a Nevada-based company that's developed a BSE (breast self-exam) bra with sensors integrated into the cups. The sensors detect slight variations in breast surface temperature that could indicate tumor growth.
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These variations in temperature are caused by the growth of blood vessels that develop in the breast to supply cancerous tissue with blood. The company explains that a distinct heat signature is given off by these blood vessels, allowing a tumor to be detected years before it is visible on a mammogram or MRI.
In three clinical trials involving 650 participants of all ages, the bra had an accuracy rate of over 90 percent and offered far greater an accuracy level than a traditional mammogram.
Sensor data from the non-invasive monitoring system is wirelessly transferred to a computer or mobile device and can be uploaded to the Internet for analysis.
First Warning Systems has been granted a number of patents and plans to put the BSE bra on the market next year in Europe and, pending FDA approval, the United States in 2014. Cost details have yet to be determined.
Credit: First Warning Systems