Dec 6, 2012 7:49 PM by Alyse Rzemek
RENO, Nev. (AP) - It's been more than 15 years in the making, but Reno-based First Warning Systems is close to bringing a new type of breast cancer screening tool to the market: the Smart Bra.
The device makes it easier and more economical to detect breast cancer in younger women, who usually have denser breast tissue, making traditional mammogram results hard to read.
Women as young as 18 can be monitored for abnormal tissue growth, and cancer can be detected earlier.
"There are a number of studies out over the past 10 years that say the earlier we can identify this disease, the more success we have at treating it," Matt Bernardis, chief operating officer for First Warning, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "So much so that we are approaching 100 percent survival rates when we are catching pre-cancer, stage 1 or early stage 2."
Dr. Sanford Barsky, pathology chair at the University of Nevada Medical School and breast cancer researcher, agrees that there is a need for better early detection of breast cancer, especially in young women and pre-menopausal women.
"There is a great need to develop technologies that can make progress in the war against breast cancer," he said.
The bra also can be used to track how well treatment is helping women already diagnosed with breast cancer.