Shine On

Could this bra detect breast cancer?

First Warning Systems is developing a bra claimed to detect the early signs of breast cancer. (YouTube)First Warning Systems is developing a bra claimed to detect the early signs of breast cancer. (YouTube)For those ladies who only see bras as fashion accessories, bra functionality has just been taken to a whole new level.

In the very near future, your bra might have the potential to save your life.

First Warning Systems, developers of a breast-surface-temperature technology that monitors breasts for indications of tumours, is working on a bra that will serve as an early warning system for breast cancer, reports MedCity News.

Also see: Kissing your dog can cause gum disease: study

The bra integrates sensors into its cups, looking for temperature variations that can identify tumours.

"And while getting a weekly mammogram to catch breast cancer in its earliest stages is impractical, wearing a smart sports bra that's just as effective at early detection isn't. So First Warning Systems' Breast Tissue Screening Bra has the potential to revolutionize screenings," Gizmodo's Andrew Liszewski writes.

"Over three clinical trials with 650 participants, the bra has been found to detect the beginnings of tumors as many as six years before imaging can, and boasts a 92.1 percent level of accuracy at correctly classifying them — far greater than the 70 percent accuracy seen in routine mammograms, reports CNET.

Also see: B.C. lawyer Adam Campbell completes marathon in a suit, breaks world record

First Warning Systems hopes to make the "smart bra" commercially available in Europe in 2013, and, pending FDA approval, in the U.S. in 2014. The retail price has not yet been announced.

There is no word on when the product will be made available in Canada.

In the meantime, here are some facts about breast cancer screening — and why you should book a mammogram. 

Watch the video below to listen to a breast cancer survivor talk about Breast Reconstructive Awareness Day.