After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in India as per WHO’s Cancer Report. Though this type of cancer can occur in both genders, it is far more common in women, says a study. However, in an important step to tackle the disease at an earlier stage, Seema and her active team members have devised a new bra that can detect breast cancer.
A six-member team led by Dr A Seema of the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) from Thrissur has developed a bra. The bra has embedded sensors on it which measures the skin temperature and also creates thermal imaging to detect the presence of cancerous cells.
In an interview with The Better India, Dr Seema narrated her journey. “The idea took root when the director of Malabar Cancer Centre (Kannur) visited us sometime in 2014. They’ve been our medical partners in this project.”
“They broached the idea of working out ways of breast cancer detection on a community scale. Mammogram was the golden standard but the provision wasn’t available in even Primary Health Centres across the country. What they had in mind was a portable device that could be implemented at a community level. This propelled us to conceptualise a wearable device for detection through thermal imaging.”
Dr Seema also said that there is nothing to worry about wearing this bra as it is completely safe and doesn’t emit any type of radiation. She also added that the cost of the bra is priced between Rs 400 and 500. “Even girls as young as 15 or 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 40 can undertake the screening.”
On International Women’s Day (March 8), Dr Seema was awarded the highest civilian honour for women – ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ by President Ram Nath Kovind for her innovations.