Mexican Teen Earns Top Prize for Breast Cancer Detection Bra

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An 18-year-old student from Mexico has won the top prize at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards this weekend for his creation of a cancer-detecting bra.

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Julian Rios Cantu was inspired to create the intelligent bra after witnessing his own mother battle the disease, before having both breasts removed. Rios Cantu, an engineering student from Monterrey, made the bra, otherwise known as EVA, to provide a less aggressive alternative to mammograms. According to the teen, the bra uses 200 biosensors that cover the surface of the breasts and monitor changes in temperature, shape and weight.

“Why a bra? Because it allows us to have the breasts in the same position and it doesn’t have to be worn more than one hour a week,” the teen told El Universal.

Thanks to the data picked up by the biosensors, they can easily detect early signs of breast cancer. According to Rios Cantu, changes in thermal conductivity are a major sign of cancer because that means there is more blood flow, which could indicate blood vessels are “feeding” a cancer.

“As soon as there is a malformation in the breast or a tumor, there is an over-vascularization; so the more [flow of] blood, the higher the temperature," he said.

PLUS: 4 Things You Need To Know About Preventive Mastectomies

The teen took home $20,000 after beating other young entrepreneurs from around the world. His invention also won him the Everis Mexico Award for Entrepreneurs.