A group of scientists in Colombia has developed a bra that can detect breast cancer, according to a report from the country’s largest public university.
The new bra is outfitted with tiny infra-red sensors that record breast temperatures and deliver a quick warning signal if any 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,” said Maria Camila Cortes, an electrical engineering student at Colombia’s National University who is working on the cancer-detecting bra.
“We don’t want to replace a doctor’s job,” added Maria Jaramillo, a fellow researcher. “The idea is to develop a technique that will help with [early] detection.”
The new anti-cancer bra is currently being tested in the university’s labs and still doesn’t have an official name or rollout date.
But Jaramillo says researchers are hoping that they can eventually take their bra to the market, and mass produce it at an affordable price point.
The bra wouldn’t be Colombia’s first lingerie export.
The South American nation is already well known in the garments industry for its lingerie and body-shaping corsets. In 2014, Colombia exported $17 million worth of women's undergarments.
The anti-cancer bra, however, would be fashion meets science. Each bra will be equipped with sensors and three small lights that can deliver a reading after only a few minutes of use. A green light indicates no problems, a yellow light indicates the need to conduct another test, and a red light is a sign that the user needs to see a doctor for a proper medical exam.
Researchers said the bra also has a chip that saves breast temperature recordings for further analysis by doctors.
Manuel Rueda is a correspondent for Fusion, covering Mexico and South America. He travels from donkey festivals, to salsa clubs to steamy places with cartel activity.