Julian's impressive attempt to make a life-saving hack has earned him an award at the Global Student Entrepreneur.

Teen designs bra to detect breast cancer after almost losing mother to diseaseInstagram
Atom Technology Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 13:01

Julian Rios Cantu from Mexico was just 13 years old when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, for the second time.

She lost her breasts, and nearly her life, to the disease.

This prompted Julian to extensively research on the issue and five years later now, the teenager from Mexico has designed a bra to detect breast cancer.

Along with his two friends, Julian founded Higia Technologies that developed the bra. According to its website, the company is "devoted to boosting women's quality of life by attaining a professionalization of the self exploration method for the early and effective detection of breast cancer".

Julian's invention uses sensors which map the surface of the breast. These sensors will monitor the temperature, texture and colour of the breast and send an alert with any unsatisfactory results on an application.

julianrioscantu/Instagram

In his interview with a Mexican newspaper El Universal, he said, "When there is a tumour in the breast there is more blood, more heat, so there are changes in temperature and in texture."

Julian's impressive attempt to make a life-saving hack has earned him an award at the Global Student Entrepreneur.

However, his invention is still a prototype and has to undergo several medical trials before it could be made available in the market. Julian is optimistic that his auto-exploration bra will be certified and be available for use by next year.

Experts though have reason to advice caution.

When asked if such a product could really help detect cancer, Anna Perman from Cancer Research UK told the BBC, "We know that tumours often have an abnormal system of blood vessels, but we also know that increased blood flow isn't necessarily a reliable marker of cancer. At present, there is no evidence to show whether this bra is a reliable way to detect tumours, and it's certainly not a good idea for women to use technology that hasn't been tested in good-quality scientific trials."

She however added that it was good to see youngsters being interested in science. "But an important part of science is rigorous testing, to make sure innovations like this actually benefit patients."

In India, breast cancer is among the leading type of cancer among women and the numbers are on the rise. An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) report states that the cases of breast cancer in India has increased by 1.5 lakh in 2016, which is over 10% of all cancer cases.

According to a report in Breast Cancer India, the disease is usually not diagnosed at an early stage, and by the time the patient starts treatment the chances of survival become very slim.

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