A tweeting bra? While at first blush, a tweeting bra might sound silly, the one that Nestle Fitness developed when it partnered with Oglivy Athens, a Greek advertising agency, serves a very serious purpose: to remind women how vitally important self-examination of their breasts is in preventing breast cancer.
October is, if you haven’t heard, Breast Cancer Awareness month. The Tweeting Bra is just one aspect of a promotional campaign designed to increase in the public an awareness of how important it is to do a periodic self-examination of their breasts, as this is an effective method to detect breast cancer in its early stages.
Women are strongly encouraged by the National Breast Cancer organization to conduct self-examinations of their breasts at least once a month, and the tweeting bra is one way to remind women of that. According to the Mayo Clinic, forty percent of breast cancer cases reported to doctors result from women who notice a lump in their breasts from doing self-examinations.
Mammograms should not be neglected, because they are also important in the diagnosis of breast cancer. But, by conducting self-examinations of their breasts, women can often be alerted of initial symptoms.
The bra that tweets works when the bra becomes unclasped. Then, a signal is transmitted that sends out an automatic tweet.
The Tweeting Bras are currently not for sale. There’s only one bra that’s been made that sends out the tweet, and it belongs to the Greek celebrity Maria Bakodimus.
However, you can follow the tweets that the bra sends out every time the television host’s bra gets unclasped. The bra’s clasp is Bluetooth-enabled. The tweet that it sends out says that something that’s much easier to do than learning Greek is to “learn something easier: how to have a self-exam!”
The Tweeting Bra, alas, will only send out the tweets until the end of this month. That’s when the awareness campaign will end.
Performing a Self Breast Exam to Detect Breast Cancer is Easy
Observing your breasts with your eyes and hands every month can help you notice any changes in them that might indicate that you have breast cancer. The two steps of breast self-exams are a physical and visual inspection of your breasts.
The visual part involves you standing in front of a mirror without either a shirt or a bra on. First, stand with your arms at your sides; then, raise them into the air. Check out, with your eyes, if you notice any dimpling, or changes in the shape and size of your breasts. Also, check to see if your breasts look as symmetrical as usual, and also if your nipples are now inverted.
Once you’ve completed a visual inspection of your breasts, it’s time to do a physical inspection of them. This can be done either standing up or lying down. Just raise your left hand above your head and examine your left breat using your right hand, using your three middle fingers, not the tips but the pads — then, use your other hand to do the same with your other breast. Press on different parts of your breasts using different amounts of pressure. Take your time, and see if you notice any abnormalities.
Be sure to let your physician know if you find any bulges, changes in size or color, hard lumps, nipple discharge, pain, or swelling of your breasts, and arrange for a clinical exam if you notice any changes.
While the Tweeting Bra is a cool promotional device to increase awareness of the importance to do breast self-exams, it is not for sale. But, if you would like to join the 149,000 other Twitter followers of the Greek television host Maria Bakodimous, you will receive a tweet every time her bra is unclasped. You can see the tweets at hashtag @tweeting Bra. If the tweeting bra helps even one woman detect breast cancer in its early stages, the bra will have succeeded in doing its job.
Written by: Douglas Cobb