Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women all over the world.
It is alarming to know that the Philippines has the highest incidence among other Asean countries. According to the Philippine Cancer Society, one out of 13 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.
Science has yet to determine how to prevent this worldwide epidemic.
Early detection, however, can help avert serious complications and may lead to longer survival rates.
First Warning Systems, Inc. was created to discover ways how to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage.
After 20 long years, the company seems to have succeeded.
They have developed a “smart bra” with sensitive sensors that can identify changes in temperature on the breast. The bra is worn for a certain number of minutes every month. The data is sent through the internet to a central collecting system.
The information is analyzed and returned to the user with a monthly report.
These teeny-tiny temperature changes of the breast are very vital. The transformation from normal to hyperplasia to cancer produce a distinct thermal imprint which can be perceived by the “smart bra”. The report will then alert the patient to see her doctor right away.
A mammogram has always been the gold standard in detecting breast cancer. It is done only once a year for fear of too much radiation exposure. Not to mention the cost of about P5,000 plus the painful experience of squeezing the breasts between two cold metal plates.
Women would certainly welcome a less painful alternative. And since a monthly monitoring is routinely done, it would catch breast cancer earlier than a yearly evaluation using the mammogram.
First Warning Systems, Inc. hopes to be able to market the “smart bra” in Europe by next year and in the U.S. in 2014. The selling price is around US$1,000 or roughly around P42,000.
It may sound costly, but if you fraction in the fact that a woman who is 50 years old will need a mammogram every year till she is 100, then this might prove to be a bargain in the end.