Teenager designs a bra that could save your life

11 May 2017
By Fashion Quarterly

bra that can detect breast cancer (h)

This bra design could revolutionise how breast cancer is detected.

A student from Mexico has taken out a top design award for designing a bra that may actually help detect breast cancer.

Julián Ríos Cantú was awarded the honour at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards for his design, which was inspired by almost losing his mother to breast cancer, twice.

The entrepreneurial 18-year-old set up his own tech company, Higia Technologies, with three friends when he was 17 and developed the bra-like device known as EVA, Stylist reports.

While all women can wear the bra, it’s primarily aimed at women with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.

Cantú explained this potentially life-saving design works by detecting and tracking subtle changes in the breast through hundreds of biosensors. The data is collected and monitored and if changes persist, the wearer is urged to seek medical advice.

“When there is a tumour in the breast there is more blood, more heat and then there are sudden changes in temperature and in texture,” Cantú told El Universal.

Another incredible feature of the bra is that it only needs to be worn for one hour a week to register any breast changes.

While the design is still being developed with Cantú and a team of oncologists in California, it’s possible EVA could be available within the next few years.

On behalf of women everywhere, we salute this young inventor’s brave dream.

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?

• New lumps or lumpiness, including swelling or lumps in the armpit
• Breast changes or abnormalities such as nipple discharge, crustation around the nipples or bleeding nipples
• Breasts skin changes such as dimpling, puckering or dents
• Unusual breast pain
• Changes to breast shape

Breast cancer in numbers

• Around 3000 women in New Zealand are diagnosed with breast cancer each year
• 8 women are diagnosed each day, and of those eight, one will be Maori
• More than 600 women will die from the disease each year
• The risk of breast cancer increases with age with around 75 per cent of all cases of breast cancer found in women over 50.
• Regular mammograms can find cancer early and save lives. The 10-year survival rate is 92 per cent if a breast cancer is found through a mammogram compared to 75 per cent if it is found through chance or self-examination.

*Statistics courtesy The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

Early detection saves lives. If you’ve noticed any changes to your breasts or are experience any of the above symptoms, book an appointment with your local GP today. 

Photo: Getty Images


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