A bra that could detect breast cancer six years before a normal mammogram has been created in the US, offering hope that the disease could be caught and treated in its earliest stages.
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The device, created by US company First Warning Systems, is intended to be used to detect tumours early and is designed to be used by women alongside self-checking and standard breast cancer screening.
It uses two parts to detect the cancer. The first is a sensor device that goes inside the bra to measure temperature changes in the breasts, caused by growing blood vessels that are linked to potential tumours.
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The second is a piece of software that uses pattern recognition and artificial intelligence to detect changes in the breast tissue that could indicate the presence of a tumor.
Developers say the device has been tested for sensitivity and accuracy in three separate clinical trials involving 650 participants. A final clinical trial is rumoured to be in the planning stages.
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It’s thought that the First Warning Systems device could be on the market in Europe next year and sold in the US in 2014.
One million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year worldwide, with 400,000 of these women will die.
Early diagnosis is key to catching the cancer early, but tumours can form six years before they are detected by a traditional mammogram, something which the device hopes will help potential cancer victims.