Early breast cancer detection might be about to change for good. And it's all because of a new bra.
Julian Rios Cantu, an 18-year-old student from Mexico, just won the top prize at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards for his invention of the EVA, an "intelligent" bra that is designed to help with breast cancer detection in the early stages of the disease.
The bra is built with 200 biosensors that map the surface of the breasts and monitor the temperature, shape, and weight of them. Rios Cantu said that these sensors can pick up on unusual amounts of heat in the breast, which can indicate more blood flow that is working toward "feeding" something—which could possibly be a malformation due to cancer.
"EVA is a network of biosensors that covers the woman’s breast, takes the temperature data, analyzes them, and sends the information to an application or any computer,” he said.
The bra, which was primarily designed with women who have a genetic risk for breast cancer in mind, doesn't have to be worn more than one hour a week. What's more, it will allow the breasts to remain in the same position for potential detection of anything that looks amiss while the woman is wearing it.
As if this news weren't exciting enough, the story behind how the bra began is a heart-achingly sweet one. Rios Cantu was inspired to create the bra after watching his own beloved mother's struggle with breast cancer. Sadly, she repeatedly battled the disease and eventually had to have both of her breasts removed. This clearly had a big effect on Rios Cantu—enough to make him want to make a difference for other women someday who risked the same diagnosis.
So promising! We hope to see new technology on the market like this for breast cancer detection soon. And it sounds like this is a great start.