(NaturalNews) Mammograms are a universally uncomfortable experience, but this decades-old detection method may now take a back seat thanks to new technology. Lifeline Biotechnologies has licensed a "smart bra" to identify signs of breast cancer earlier (and more pleasantly) than current medical practices.
Lifeline has named the revolutionary bra First Warning System (FWS). The company promotes the item for its responsiveness and cost efficiency against a traditional mammogram. The bra looks like a regular sports bra, but it is outfitted with 16 temperature sensors that presumably are capable of detecting deeply buried cell changes. The FWS is meant to be used by the OB/GYN or general physicians, and it is calibrated for an individual woman.
The technology is currently in its fourth generation. Three clinical trials have been performed with hundreds of female participants, and Lifeline claims that the diagnoses were correct 92.1 percent of the time - as opposed to the 70 percent accuracy of mammograms. FWS operations manager Matthew Benardis notes there is still one more clinical trial to come. If the bras test positively throughout the trial phase, they may be sold for retail purchase by 2014, assuming the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't classify the FWS as a medical device and require it to undergo further testing.
There is a divided opinion among doctors about the product. Some believe that attempting detection via thermography - temperature - instead of mammography could have fatal consequences in giving women false negatives. Oppositely, others believe new methods can only be a benefit in identifying breast cancer, and that this particular technology could not only enhance early detection, but also prevent misdiagnoses. Some think the FWS could be a useful backup for mammograms.
Expert mammographers can find tumors that are about 0.2 cm. By this point, the tumor has been growing for almost 10 years. Alternatively, the FWS can identify the heat signature of a tumor much earlier than that, before there is an actual lump, when the growing tumor is only three years old.
In fact, one of the trial participants, Nedra Lindsay, was 25 years old when the innovative bra picked up a heat abnormality in her breast tissue. This abnormality led to a mammogram and a biopsy, from which a very aggressive form of cancer was discovered. She is now cancer-free after undergoing a double lumpectomy, but her case is one that demonstrates the life-saving benefits of Lifeline's new system. The bra detected the cancer that otherwise wouldn't have been found until 15 years later at age 40 (the recommended age for a woman's first mammogram).
Additionally, Lifeline says the bra is non-radiogenic, non-invasive, and non-toxic.