Sex & Relationships

Coming Soon: A Bra That Can Detect Breast Cancer

Could a bra outfitted with temperature-detecting technology help detect cancer before it’s too late?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Early detection is one of the best defenses against cancer. So when a group of scientists from Colombia decided to develop a product that can help aid in that defense, people were inspired. They weren’t, however, expecting it to come in the form of a bra.

Maria Camila Cortes, an electrical engineering student at Colombia’ National University, told Fusion, “When you have cells in your mammary glands that are anomalous, the body needs to send more blood to that specific part of the body, and the temperature of this organ increases.”

Considering the amount of time bras and breasts typically spend together, Cortes and her team decided to outfit the former with some temperature-detecting technology. “We don’t want to replace a doctor’s job," says fellow researcher Maria Jaramillo. “The idea is to develop a technique that will help with [early] detection.”

The techwear would incorporate tiny infrared sensors into the design. After a few minutes of use, the sensors will be able to pick up on breast temperature. If everything seems normal, a green light will shine. A yellow light indicates the need to conduct another test and a red light means it’s time to book an appointment for a proper medical examination. Whether such a device would produce a lot of false alarms is a question still to be addressed. 

Researchers also plan to outfit the bra with a chip that saves breast temperature recordings for further analysis by doctors. But we’ll have to wait before we see the product go to market. The team is still testing out their prototype in the university labs. So far, no official name or release date has been announced. 

Carrie Weisman is a writer focusing on sex, relationships and culture. 

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