Bra may be able to detect early stages of breast cancer
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Next to skin cancer breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States and it's the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
About one in 36 people will die from breast cancer this year. Breast cancer death rates have been going down, but this is probably due to earlier detection and better treatment over the years.
Now a company in Reno believes they have found to take earlier detection to a whole new level.
The Smart Bra by First Warning Systems, Inc. has completed three clinical trials of 650 women.
The bra is used to detect very early stages of breast cancer. Especially in young women and dense breasted women.
The Smart Bra looks like a sports bra, but has a dynamic thermometer device embedded in it. The device looks for heat signatures in the breast by looking for changes in the breast tissue.
The patient puts it on and sets out on their normal day wearing the sports bra for at least 12 hours. The data is then sent back to First Warning Systems, Inc. and they will decide between four categories: normal, benign, suspicious, or positive.
First Warning Systems, Inc. does not give a diagnosis. Instead, they pass the data on to the patient's doctor who then makes a recommendation to the patient and they can go from there.
The Smart Bra is not on the market yet, but News 4 sat down with First Warning Systems, Inc. chief of operations Matt Benardis and he believes the system through early detection will save lives.
"To identify the disease at its earliest stages and allow us to treat it more efficiently more cost effectively and with better success rates and we know that if we're catching the disease in stage two or earlier we're approaching 100-percent survival rates and treatment therapies," Benardis says.
Mammograms are still considered the gold standard in technology, but Benardis believes screening is a very reactive approach to the disease. He says by the time they start screening women the disease maybe in generation and harbor for anywhere from 10 to 20 years.
News 4 also met with Cindy Lain, a cancer survivor who stressed early detection helped save her life and she wants her daughter to be able to use the best form of early detection out there.
She hopes soon her daughter will be able to use the Smart Bra.
The Smart Bra is expected to to go through its fourth and final clincal trial in spring of 2013 and will hopefully be on the market in 2014. However, the bra will be available in some European markets starting as early as this spring.