Thrissur: A Kerala scientist, A Seema and her team have come up with a bra that can detect breast cancer, which is the most common disease among women in India, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research(Noida), around 1.62 lakh new cases of breast cancer and 87,090 cancer deaths have been reported in 2018. 

A Seema and her six-member team of the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) from Thrissur have developed a bra, which consists of sensors that measure the skin temperature and also creates thermal imaging to detect cancerous cells.

Interestingly on March 8, observed as the International Women's Day, Seema was also awarded the highest civilian honour for women - Nari Shakti Puraskar - by President Ram Nath Kovind for her innovations.

Seema told media that the idea of inventing the bra came to their mind when the director of Malabar Cancer Centre (Kannur) visited them in 2014 and proposed the idea of working out ways of breast cancer detection on a community scale. 

Later, Seema's group decided to make a portable device that could be implemented at a community level. This moved the team to make a wearable device for detection through thermal imaging.

After wearing this bra for 15 to 30 minutes, the bra device maps the skin temperature of the breast and gives a 2D image reading, which can be connected to a tablet or laptop. As cancer cells have a high metabolic rate, if there is an abnormality in the person’s temperature, then cancer can be detected. 

She also told media that the price of the bra is expected to be between Rs 400 and 500. Seema also said that the bra is completely safe and doesn’t emit any kind of radiation.

Even young girls of 15 to 20 years of age can use the wearable device, which caters to all body types. This is not possible in the case with the mammogram, as only women above 50 can undertake the screening. 

Additionally, the test is not really an economically viable option for everyone, because it costs around Rs 1,500 to Rs 8,000.