Smart sports bra screens for breast cancer tumors

The bra has sensors that monitor tiny temperature changes in the tissue that could indicate tumor growth. (Courtesy First Warning Systems)

Megan Cloherty,

WASHINGTON – It could be a life-changing sports bra for young women whose breast cancer often goes undetected. The Breast Tissue Screening Bra uses sensors that scientists say can be more effective than a mammogram for some women.

The bra, made by First Warning Systems, contains sensors that monitor the temperature of cells in the breast and acts as a continuous exam, reports CNET.

Temperature changes can be a sign of blood vessel growth which can be an indicator of tumors. The software reading the sensors in the bra then assesses the data, looking for patterns that could identify an early-stage tumor.

Six hundred fifty women took part in three clinical trials for the bra that was able to identify tumors six years before a mammogram might.

In the trials, the bra had a 92 percent accuracy level in correctly classifying the tumors, according to the company, while it says routine mammograms detect 70 percent of tumors.

One in eight women will get breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute. So, the early detection bra could prove to be popular. It is expected to be available in Europe in 2013 and, with FDA approval, in the U.S. in 2014. The company is not suggesting what the cost of the bra will be.

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