One of the most unique and useful innovations in the breast care industry hails from India, where 2,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed per day, 1,200 of which are already late-stage cancers. Stage 1 breast cancer has a 10-year survival rate of 75 percent, but stage 4 breast cancer only has a 5 percent 10-year survival rate, making early detection vital.

Isobar India, a digital agency, has been working on a new way to encourage women to do breast self-exams at home every month. Their team recognized that lots of women have monthly reminder apps on their phones, but these reminders often come up at inconvenient times, when women don’t have time to check their breasts, and the reminders simply get deleted without a second thought. There are also other campaigns for breast cancer awareness, but these displays are put up in public places and quickly forgotten as well.

Photo: YouTube/Marks and Spencer India

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What’s important, they realized, is to remind women to check their breasts at the appropriate time—during a shower or when they’re changing their clothing. The team also realized the importance of not having the reminder be gaudy or ugly so that a woman would not be tempted to get rid of it for aesthetic purposes.

Photo: YouTube/Marks and Spencer India

What they came up with was a bra strap with a disappearing message. The clear straps contain thermochromic ink that is a visible reminder when a woman is putting on her bra but quickly disappears as soon as it comes into contact with her body heat. The result is a sophisticated look that works for any occasion and any outfit and doesn’t look strange to others who might notice the bra straps.

The message on the straps reads, “With regular check-ups, the chances of late detection of cancer can diminish, just like this message.”

Photo: YouTube/Marks and Spencer India

“‘Straps That Remind’ is a unique tool to remind women to check for the unusual in their own personal space. I feel proud that we have been able to support such an important cause innovatively,” says James Munson, MD, of Marks & Spencer India.

The “Straps That Remind,” which can be ordered as a pair free of charge, are perfect for strapless bras or bras with detachable straps. They can also be attached to a regular bra over the top of existing straps or as a halter-type strap for extra support. The straps also come with a leaflet from the Women’s Cancer Initiative, which provides more information on the early warning signs of breast cancer and resources for more support.

Photo: YouTube/Marks and Spencer India

“‘Straps That Remind’ can be a life-changing product for so many women out there and it is such a personal way to remind them of their well-being,” says Deveika S. Bhojwani, Vice President of the Women’s Cancer Initiative at Tata Memorial Hospital.

Learn more about Straps That Remind and see them in action in the video below.

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