What if there was a way to detect cancer, simply by wearing a lightweight piece of clothing? You don’t need to pinch yourself—this daydream is in the works to become reality! Thanks to an innovative young man with endless love for his mother, people all over the world will soon be able to take back control over their health in ways that have never been seen before. Strap in my friends, we’re about to learn how a bra can save your life!

This supportive garment is not only life-changing for the individuals wearing it and their families, but this new innovation will literally change the world of medicine. And it all starts with something many women are already wearing every. Single. Day.

Image: Dozens of bras on a clothesline in a field

Source: Pixabay

Alright, so how can a bra save lives?

Well, before we get to the good part, I have to preface this marvelous invention with some rather bleak statistics. It’s very likely that you or someone you are close to has been affected by breast cancer. In fact, 1 in 8 women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. And it’s not just the ladies! 1 in 883 men will be diagnosed during their lifetime, too. Furthermore, breast cancer can develop rapidly and display absolutely zero symptoms, which makes it far too easy for it to hide out unnoticed. 1

‌Geez Renee, get to the good news already!

Chin up my darlings, there are some positive stats, too! Since 1989, the overall breast cancer death rate in the USA has decreased a whopping 40% through 2017. This means 375,900 deaths were averted in US women over a span of just 28 years! Much of this decrease in numbers is the result of two things: research and early detection. 2

Like a lot of problems that the world faces, the more we know about something, the better prepared we are to tackle it. And in this case, knowing more early in the game is key. This is where our young hero, Julian Rios Cantu, steps in.

Transforming tragedy into a tool for helping others

Did you know that women under the age of 40 are not recommended to have a mammogram because the radiation can cause fertility complications and other health risks?

Hmmph, doesn’t leave many options, does it? Well, at the age of 16, this ambitious teen, driven by love, set out to create an option for early detection that does not require harmful radiation or invasive operations.

Julian’s mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer when he was just 8 years old. I’m happy to report that she is now cancer-free, but the aggressive treatment she had to endure was enough to change their lives forever. Thankfully, her young son turned lemons into lemonade and used their suffering to create something that can improve the lives of other people. That’s how the EVA bra was born!

A brassiere like no other

Julian is an extraordinary shining example of what young people can accomplish in this world! Watch this video by Great Big Story to learn how he is leading the way in early breast cancer detection by combining textiles and technology!

Learn more about the sensational minds of our world by exploring Great Big Story’s YouTube Library!

All good things take time

Julian’s company is currently conducting studies on the EVA bra at their four health centers in Mexico, and their findings will be published later this year! Their practices aim for early detection, but their mission is also centered around fostering a culture of prevention and health care. You can visit their website and check out their Facebook or Instagram page to track their progress and learn more about the EVA bra!

Meet your new physician, the cotton tee shirt

What if all of your clothing could alert you to a possible health issue? Maybe Julian’s design will inspire the fashion industry to incorporate compassion into each collection.

Could a tee shirt tell you to take a breather when your blood pressure spikes? How about a stylish pair of jeans that remind you to take your insulin shot? There are already scientists working on nano-technology tattoo ink for this very purpose! We are undoubtedly headed into a future in which we can take back the reins on our health.

What you can do, starting today

Until the EVA bra is made available to everyone, you’ve still got power in your hands! You can decrease your risk of breast cancer by staying active, avoiding processed foods, and leading a healthy lifestyle. 4While there are genetic tests that you can take to see if you’re predisposed, self-exams are extremely important and the most proactive way to stay, well, abreast on your breast health.

Just remember, new advances in breast cancer research are made every day. Know that there are millions of people out there like Julian (and me!) that are rooting for you! In the meantime, treat every day as a miraculous gift, and don’t forget to give those twins a healthy rub-down on a regular basis!

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Keep dreaming and notice the beauty around you!

~Renee

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Notes:

  1. “U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics | Breastcancer.Org.” Breastcancer.Org, 25 June 2020, www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics#:~:text=About%201%20in%208%20U.S.,invasive%20(in%20situ)%20breast%20cancer. Accessed 14 July 2020.
  2. American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2019-2020. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc. 2019. Accessed 14 July 2020.
  3. Great Big Story. “This Bra Screens for Breast Cancer.” YouTube, 4 June 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM9xWC2ctMk&feature=emb_title. Accessed 14 July 2020.
  4. “Breast Cancer: How to Reduce Your Risk.” Mayo Clinic, 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/breast-cancer-prevention/art-20044676. Accessed 20 July 2020.

Renee Laroche-Rheaume

Outreach Coordinator

Renee is a graduate of FIDM, and has held jobs in several industries such as apparel manufacturing, retail, professional office work, and even hospitality! Her creative outlook, wide variety of experiences, and desire to notice the beauty around us make her a great addition to the EWC team!