Lifelike 'breast tissue' bras help women with darker skin spot signs of breast cancer

Love & Nudes/Cover Images

A Canadian company has designed a series of life-like bras to help women with darker skin tones recognise the symptoms of breast cancer earlier.

Underwear brand Love & Nudes collaborated with advertising agency McCann Toronto to create the Stage Zero Collection due to shocking statistics that Black women have a 40 per cent higher death rate caused by breast cancer than their white peers.

Reportedly, one reason for the stark difference could be that women of colour often only detect signs of the disease when it has manifested in the latter stages.

The bra insert capsule collection enables the wearer to touch, see and feel the tell-tale swelling that can indicate the presence of inflammatory breast cancer, giving a hands-on demonstration of how to detect a lump.

The scientifically accurate, silicone attachments - which are true to size and placement - took over 18 months of trials and production to perfect, with finishing touches later added on by a make-up artist to reflect the subtle colour changes on the skin.

Love & Nudes founder Chantal Carter explained: "Breast cancer diagnostic and educational tools are generally designed with only white skin in mind. All the examination guides report redness as a sign of breast cancer. Unfortunately, discolouration doesn't look the same on darker skin tones like mine."

Dr. Mojola Omole, the surgical oncologist and chief medical officer on the design project, added: "Black women under 50 with breast cancer have a mortality rate double that of white women in the same age group. Because Black women are predisposed to early-onset triple-negative breast cancer, it's clear that it's time to change the guidelines on the breast cancer screening age for cancer."

As part of the campaign, a petition has been launched to lower the breast cancer screening age to 40, from age 50 in most Canadian provinces, in response to the earlier onset of the disease among Black women.