Body

The bra that could literally save your life

And it was made by a conscientious, forward-thinking 18-year-old boy, who did it all for his mum.

By Ellie McDonald
Miranda Kerr holding a bra

Teenagers: they really can do anything if they set their mind to it – especially when someone they cherish is at risk of dying.

Such is the case for Julián Ríos Cantú, an 18-year-old boy from Mexico who has endured what no child ever should: watching his mother almost die from breast cancer. Twice.

It was this experience that spurred Cantú, along with three of his friends, to design a bra-like device that could, in fact, detect breast cancer.

Cantú’s company, Higis Technologies, created the bra, known as EVA, and, as reported by Stylist, it is aimed at women with a genetic predisposition to this type of cancer.

“When there is a tumour in the breast, there is more blood, more heat and then there are sudden changes in temperature, in texture,” Cantú tols El Universal upon winning the top award at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards for this genius device.

Not only that, but the bra is locked and loaded with hundreds of biosensors that work to monitor these changes in one’s breast.

The idea is that the data is then collated, changes are tracked, and if these changes do persist, the bra-wearer is urged to seek medical advice.

For us, one of the truly remarkable features of this bra is that it only needs to be worn for one hour a week in order to gauge any changes in your breast.

While there is still a lot of research and testing on the device that needs to be done – Cantú is currently working with oncologists in California to bring this dream technology to life – this bra is certainly a step in the right direction, especially considering that here in Australia alone, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85.

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
Besides a breast lump, which 83 per cent of diagnosed women bring to their doctors, women should also seek professional advice for:

• Nipple abnormalities including redness, crusting or clear/bloody discharge
• Breast pain or discomfort
• Breast skin abnormalities
• Breast ulcerations
• Swelling or lump in the armpit
• Back or muscular pain
• Breathlessness
• Changes to the contour or shape of the breast

Breast cancer in numbers
• Only 3% of Australians realise that breast cancer can stay dormant in the body for more than 10 years

• Only 13% of Australians are aware that a healthy lifestyle may be beneficial in reducing the risk of relapse

• 59% incorrectly believing or do not know whether Stage 4 can be successfully treated

• Australians are well informed about the primary reasons for the return of breast cancer such as cancer cells spreading beyond the breast (63%) and not all cancer cells being killed during initial treatment (60%)

• The majority of Australians (83%) understand that breast cancer can spread beyond the breast and that this stage (called metastatic) is the most deadly (88%)

Statistics care of National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Early detection is vital and can save lives. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, wish to find out more, or want to book in for a check-up, visit your local GP today.

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