Entries in bra (2)


Daughter to Victoria's Secret: Make 'Survivor Bra' for My Mom

Allana Maiden(NEW YORK) -- Allana Maiden of Richmond, Va., doesn't remember too much about her mother's breast cancer diagnosis -- and subsequent mastectomy -- as she was only 6 years old at the time.  But ever since, Maiden has watched her mother struggle to feel beautiful -- and to find a bra that fits.

"I do remember that she never got depressed about it and was always the same woman to me," Maiden, who is now 27 and married, told ABC News.

Her mother, Debbie Barrett, 57, wears a prosthetic because at the time of her mastectomy, insurance did not cover breast reconstruction.  And, because she lives in a rural part of Virginia, she has to drive 1.5 hours to find a store that sells bras that hold prosthetic breasts.

"It's a huge ordeal," Maiden, said of her mother's search for the right bra.  

And while the mastectomy bras that her mother buys may come cheap, they are unattractive.  Prettier bras by designer boutiques are more expensive.

This week, Maiden filed a petition on, asking lingerie giant Victoria's Secret to add a "survivor line" of mastectomy bras for women like her mother.  So far, it has more than 90,000 signatures.

"I know this is a minor inconvenience compared to the other things my mom's been through, and she never complains, but it is not fair," said Maiden in her petition.  "A strong woman like her should be able to feel as beautiful as she is.  She should be able to go to a store in her local mall with everyone else and buy a beautiful bra like everyone else."

According to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.  It estimated that more than 1.6 million new cases occurred among women worldwide in 2010.

The bras that Barrett wears have little pockets to hold the prostheses.  They are available online, but it's hard to get a good fit without being measured in person, say both mother and daughter.

Maiden, who works at a local animal shelter, said she chose to petition Victoria's Secret because it has participated in breast cancer awareness campaigns in the past -- Victoria Secret's 2012 "Think Pink" campaign donated more than $1.1 million to cancer groups, according to the company's website.

And Maiden added that she'd also had positive experiences as a Victoria's Secret customer.

"Victoria's Secret is supposed to make women feel beautiful, and the women that deserve that feeling the most are excluded," Maiden wrote in her petition.

A spokesman for the company had no official statement about the petition, but ABC News put Maiden in touch with Tammy Roberts Myers, vice president of external communications for Limited Brands, which owns Victoria's Secret.

"She seemed genuinely interested in my idea," said Maiden.  "She said she would get back to me when she learned anything new. ... I told her about my positive experiences being fitted there, and that I want survivors to have that same experience."

"She asked me about the design of mastectomy bras, how the pocket works to hold the prostheses," Maiden said.  "She said she was going to share my idea with the right people internally."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


New Heat Sensing Bra Claims to Detect Breast Cancer

First Warning Systems, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Most women expect their bras to give them a little extra lift.  Now, there’s one that not only lifts, it separates -- the healthy breast tissue from the unhealthy breast tissue, that is.

The makers of the First Warning Systems bra claim it can detect cancer in its earliest stages by continually monitoring the breasts for temperature changes associated with growing tumors.  When a series of sensors embedded in the cups detect abnormal heat patterns, they send a signal to alert doctors to the possible presence of cancer cells.

In three separate clinical trials involving 650 women, the makers said the bra was able to identify the presence of tumors six years before traditional breast imaging did.  It also scored a 92 percent level of accuracy in correctly classifying breast tissue as normal, benign, suspected for abnormalities, or probable for abnormalities.  Routine mammograms have an accuracy rate of only 70 percent.

If this works as advertised, this is very exciting news for women who prefer to avoid the radiation associated with mammography, especially women with lumpy breasts or a family history of breast cancer.  These women typically submit to mammography screenings more often than average and many are troubled by the health risks.  And, since mammography isn’t very good at picking up breast cancer in women under 40, this could be a better option for them too.

But the word from Dr. Deanna J. Attai, a spokeswoman for the American Society of Breast Surgeons, leaves hopes sagging.

“The technology is promising but I’m a long way off from recommending it,” she said.  “We need a lot more comparison to other screening technologies, and we need follow women over a much longer period of time to determine if this actually a reliable test.”

Attai said she has more questions than answers about thermography, the type of imaging related to the technology the bra uses.  In a perfect world, the scan for breast hot spots would correlate with the results of mammogram, MRI and ultrasound tests.  This is often not the case.

Attai said she has seen thermograms come back normal or showing marginal changes to breast tissue when a woman was then diagnosed with cancer through other means.  She’s seen a lot of false positives too, and she worries this can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress and expense.

“Even if we get an abnormal reading from thermal scanning, what do we do?  If it’s not giving you a clear enough picture and you’re going to do all the other follow up tests anyway, I’m not sure I see the value,” she said.

Matt Benardis, First Warning’s chief of operations, countered that the bra is a vast improvement over standard thermography because it takes repeated snapshots of heat changes over time rather than in a single instance.  The idea is to start taking scans at around the age of 18 and then track differences in breast tissue over time.

“It’s a dynamic look at what is taking place in the breast tissue. We can identify the disruptions in the breast tissue in a non-invasive way years before tumor presentation,” he said, though he was quick to point out that it is an early detection system rather than a diagnostic tool.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio