Futuristic Bra May Detect Breast Cancer in Its Earliest Stages and the Inventor Will Surprise You
You’ve heard the saying, “necessity if the mother of invention”, and in the case of 18 year old Julián Ríos Cantú of Mexico, these words are especially appropriate. Cantú’s own mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time when he was 13 with a fast growing and aggressive type. She underwent bilateral mastectomy, almost died and became both the inspiration and motivation behind the technology he has developed for early detection of breast cancer.
Cantú used his mother’s experience and did his own research. He discovered that cancerous areas of the breast exhibit changes in temperature and texture due to the tumor’s ability to dilate blood vessels and initiate increased formation of new blood vessels (neoangiogenesis) by which the cancer cells receive nutrition.
Statistics show there are approximately 1,700,000 new cases of breast cancer detected each year and there are 8,200,000 deaths.
The young entrepreneur set out to design specialized tactile sensors capable of detecting subtle changes in temperature, color, and texture of a woman’s breasts. The computerized sensors which are placed in the cups of a bra which he named EVA – The Auto-Exploration Bra - connect with an app that receives the transmissions. The bra can be worn once a week to track any changes, which would indicate the need for further diagnostic workup by a physician. The bra is not meant to replace other tests such as thermography and is indeed very similar to thermography without thermographic imaging.
Cantú submitted his design to the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) and won first place in the 2016-2017 competition beating out 56 other hopeful finalists from around the world. The first place award for the competition includes travel and lodging expense to the GSEA Finals in Frankfurt, Germany and US$20,000 for first place for a total of US$40,000. Second and third place receive US$10,000 and US$5,000 consecutively.
At the tender age of 17, along with three close friends, Cantú started Higia Technologies to develop and market EVA which is touted as a non-invasive and portable detection device that can be used especially in developing countries as a cost effective means of detecting breast cancer months in advance. In Greek mythology, Higia (Hygieia), the daughter of the god of medicine, Asclepius, and Epione, was the goddess/personification of health, prevention, and hygiene.