Breast cancer patients will soon be able to benefit from a breast cancer bra which aids in the accuracy and ultimately the efficiency of radiotherapy.
The breast cancer bra is a high-tech bra which has the aim of preserving the dignity of breast cancer patients during radiotherapy.
The breast cancer bra was created by scientists from the Sheffield Hallam University. It uses inflatable sections to gently position the affected breast, thereby making the radiotherapy process more accurate.
Many women undergo radiotherapy, and the process usually involves them dressing down to their waist due to the errors caused by bras.
The metal in conventional bras usually interfere with the radiation beam. Even bras without the underwires are not recommended because the material has the ability to absorb radiation, hence impeding on the effectiveness of the radiotherapy.
In a scenario such as this, stripping bare would seem the best option, unfortunately, it is not. It can also hinder accuracy, seeing as the breast is prone to movement, also some find it humiliating.
The breast cancer bra overcomes the shortcomings of every other option. The inflatable pockets in the bra push the breast into the best position for the radiation. The bra is also stable, therefore movement is minimal. This invention also terminates the practice of permanently tattooing the breast to pinpoint the tumor. It also safeguards the healthy breast from being affected during the process.
It was created as a result of a project funded by the National Institute for Health Research.
The bra will undergo its first clinical trials at the Sheffield’s Weston Park Cancer Hospital in January 2017.
‘We’re incredibly excited to be working on a study aiming to improve the accuracy of treatment, while also transforming the experience for women undergoing breast radiotherapy,’ Professor Heidi Probst, a radiographer who is leading the project said.
Clare Robertson, of lingerie firm Panache, which is helping on the project, said: ‘The bra will assist medically and provide modesty and comfort during treatment. We are proud to play a part in supporting women during this challenging time.’