05 August 2008

They're only Mammary Glands!

I rarely read Salon, but came across this today:

But here's perhaps the most intriguing breast cancer story of the day: Scientists are working on a "smart bra" that could detect early breast tumors and monitor how treatment is going for women who already have cancer. "The smart bra works using a microwave antennae system device which is woven into the fabric of the bra. The antennae picks up any abnormal temperature changes in the breast tissue, which are often associated with cancer cells." There are doubts about whether the technology is really there yet and whether such a bra would cause too many false positives -- detecting benign growths and "nonmalignant inflammatory changes" -- but researchers are hoping nevertheless that the bra will make it to market within "a couple of years." Cancer-screening bras may never replace mammograms, but they could at least turn out to be more reliable than self-exams.

Full article here.

Interesting, but, all jokes about radioactive bras aside, even though I'm prone to bouts of hypochondria (and therefore should like this idea), I can't help but wonder just how good the technology can be when it's so damn difficult even to find a bra that fits! And one that is comfortable, too. I'm just saying....

PS: Although I'd appreciate your thoughtfulness, please don't leave comments suggesting I try certain stores. I have a list of good bra stores and great bra fitters across the country (well, 1/2 across the country -- I never travel to West Coast). Sadly, the closest one is 280 miles away. Sadder still, I can only visit ones in Paris about once a decade.

Yes, I'm just a bit obsessed with properly fitting brassieres. Have been since I realized I fit in the grouping Jane Russell referred to as 'full figured gals" -- and I was only a teen then.

PS #2: I wouldn't use the word intriguing for this article, or for the link I'm about to reference, but for one of the most insightful and honest looks at breast cancer screening exams, go read Litlove's 3 part story of her recent experience. It's worth reading through to the end of the 3rd post.

PS #3: Wasn't this an idea on The Big Idea? okay. bad pun. I'm going to bed.


Kay said...

As long as it doesn't beep when it detects cancerous cells! Have you noticed how many things beep these days?

litlove said...

Oh this would freak me out! I'm having to try hard enough not to check my breasts every five seconds as it is, so I don't think I'd cope with something that offered an early warning system that might be a bit overactive! And whatever will they think of next?

Courtney said...

that's the last thing I ever need. Seriously. I already spend too much time self diagnosing on the internet!

Cam said...

Kay -- but what would be the alternative to beeping? A change in color, maybe? I suppose it would be something you download into your PC.

Litlove & Courtney -- this is the hypocondriac's dream, isn't it?

Courtney - w/r/t self-diagnosing on the internet. My siser (a doctor) has requently told me, in a concerned doctorly tone, maybe you have --now promise you won't google it because you will worry and your doctor will think you're crazy - but maybe it is [fill in the blank with rare disease]. Last time she did this, I pre-empted her by naming the disease before she did. Actually, I had a friend with it, so I hadn't needed to google it (it was something weird, neurological, and non-contagious). Instead, I laughed about it with my family doctor. Not the disease of the week for me that time although months later the orthopedist did suggest it as a possiblity. Luckily not so in my case.

Emily Barton said...

Ha! Just to let you know, you don't have to be a "full figured gal" to have a terrible time finding bras that fit comfortably. I can't think of anything worse than a bra that not only is a bad fit but that also feeds into my hypchondria.

Cam said...

Emily -- I do understand that. I have a running joke with two friends that we are going to start a bra store to fit every size perfectly and name it Big, Small, and None-at-all!