Soon, your bra could detect breast cancer before your doctor

Apr 12, 2016 at 10:47 p.m. ET
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Breast cancer is a devastating disease that affects one in eight women during their lifetimes. Early detection is, many times, the best way to fight disease.

But many cases aren't detected early on, especially if it grows with symptoms that aren't easily recognizable. A team of researchers at Colombia's National University is hoping to change that with a new bra they say will be able to detect breast cancer.

More: Your bra can't give you breast cancer and other boob myths you can forget

According to one of the developers, the anti-cancer bra contains infrared sensors that monitor and record breast temperatures and provide warnings if irregularities are detected.

"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," Maria Camila Cortes, an electrical engineering student at Colombia’s National University, told Fusion.

More: My first mammogram almost scared me to death

In addition to the sensors, the bras will have three lights that deliver a reading after a few minutes — green means no problems, yellow means another test is needed, and red indicates that the wearer should consult her doctor. An embedded chip also records temperature readings for later use by doctors.

The bra is still to be tested and won't be available for some time, but researchers hope it'll become an indispensable tool to help doctors fight the deadly cancer.

"We don’t want to replace a doctor’s job," researcher Maria Jaramillo told Fusion. "The idea is to develop a technique that will help with [early] detection.”

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