Julián Ríos Cantú knows all too well about the importance of early and accurate breast cancer detection. The 19-year-old’s mother survived two bouts with breast cancer, despite an inaccurate diagnosis.
In 2013, Cantú’s mother was told the lumps she found in her breast were not malignant. Six months later, another mammogram found they were actually cancerous and she subsequently had both breasts removed.
Cantú’s friend Antonio Torres’ grandmother had also experienced his grandmother’s battle with breast cancer. Cantú began researching breast cancer and early detection. Armed with information and an idea for a new technology, Cantú invented EVA, a bra that uses thermal technology to detect breast cancer.
Now he and Torres, who both live in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, have established Higia Technologies and are working together to make the EVA accessible to all women.
What is the EVA Bra?
While it may look like your average sports bra, the EVA bra was invented to help detect breast cancer early. Cantú, who is the CEO and Co-Founder of Higia Technologies which makes the bra, recently explained the science behind the EVA to Parentology.
“Tumors surround themselves with blood vessels to obtain oxygen and nutrients in order to continue growing,” Cantú says. “The blood is the main heat fluid in the body, more blood, more temperature.”
The EVA bra uses 192 thermal sensors to analyze how the temperature in the breast is flowing. Data is used to map heat distributions across patients’ breasts. This information is used in conjunction with an app that sends the findings to the EVA wearer’s tablet or phone. If the bra detects a cause for concern, an advisory is sent to call one’s doctor to get checked out further. Women need to wear the bra for 60-90 minutes a week to get an accurate result.
Is the EVA Bra Accurate?
More than 350 patients have undergone clinical trials using the bra with an 81.7% specificity rate. But, more testing needs to be done. The BBC reports some in the medical field acknowledge while tumors sometimes do have an abnormal system of blood vessels, increased blood flow isn’t always a sign of cancer.
So far, feedback to the EVA bra has been overwhelmingly positive. Cantú says he just wants to make sure no women suffer the way his mother did with a late-stage breast cancer diagnosis.
The World Cancer Research Fund reports there were more than two million new cases of breast cancer diagnosed around the world in 2018 alone. Here in the U.S., the American Cancer Society estimates over 42,000 people will die from breast cancer in 2019.
While the EVA is not on the market yet, women interested can pre-order to be first in line once the bra goes on sale. Higia hopes to have it available in Mexico by the end of this year. No word when it may be available in the US.
Time will only tell how far this 19-year-old will take his company and quest to improve the lives of women battling breast cancer, and possibly those fighting other diseases.
Cantú says EVA is only the beginning. “We’re on a mission to empower people to own their health.”