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          New bra helps detect breast cancer

          Being that October is breast cancer awareness month, I want to introduce you to a new bra that has launched on the market recently from Lifeline Biotechnologies in Reno, Nevada. The bra, called First Warning Systems (also known as a smart bra), not only performs that wonderful lift, but it may also detect breast cancer!

          Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States; one in eight women will be diagnosed over the course of their lifetime. Just think: That could be one of your friends, family, co-workers or you. Early detection in breast cancer is really important because there is an increased survival rate with more available treatment options. Until there is a cure, early detection is the best hope women have for reducing the burden of the disease.

          These facts support the importance of early detection, and why the First Warning Systems bra could be a breakthrough for breast cancer as a whole. The keyword is "could" be. The bra is still in trial stages and still has many skeptics.

          The bra has sensors embedded in the cups that detect heat patterns. The idea is that it can catch cancer in its earliest stages by monitoring the temperature changes in breast tissue taking place in the blood vessel growth associated with growing tumors. Because of its non-invasive, non-radiogenic, and non-toxic nature, this could become an annual part of a woman's breast exam. By performing the analysis annually, the patient would build a history of breast tissue changes over time"”giving her more of a chance to catch breast cancer early. Your doctor would have you wear the bra for 12 hours to collect the data. The data then accumulates an analysis that classifies whether or not your breast is normal or if there is cause to be concerned.

          Out of three clinical trials with more than 650 women, breast tissue associated with tumors was detected six years earlier than traditional breast imaging. It also achieved 90 percent accuracy in sensitivity and specificity in regards to classifying the state of the breast tissue. By comparison, mammograms have an accuracy rate of 70 percent and the disadvantages of compression and radiation. If the FSW bra works, it could be a great option for women who don't want to be subjected to radiation.

          Like I said earlier, there are still skeptics of the First Warnings System bra because there isn't enough data to go on. Medical director of the cancer prevention center at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Dr. Therese Bevers says, "We really need to have more solid data before we start adding on tests, especially when we have tests [like the mammogram, MRI and ultrasound]."

          Personally, I feel that even though there hasn't been enough testing for skeptics to fully support the bra, it's awesome that there are companies out there coming up with new ideas for us women to tackle this horrible cancer.