Detecting Cancer Through Breath

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cancer breathalyzer testTo detect cancer, doctors usually perform screening tests using CT scans, MRI or by biopsy (tissue sample). But with the latest technology, cancer can be detected through someone’s breath.

Scientists have found the ‘electronic nose’ that can be used as a simple breath test tool to detect several types of common cancers, which are lung, breast, colon and prostate cancer.

By using sensors that can identify changes in body chemistry, scientists not only can detect the breath of healthy persons and cancer patients, but also can identify four types of tumors that often occur in humans.

While the technology is constantly being developed, the initial development has shown success, inexpensive and easy to use. In addition, the portable test performance had helped to diagnose cancer early.

“If we can verify the initial results in large-scale studies, this new technology can be a simple tool for early diagnosis of cancer together with imaging equipment,” said Abraham Kuten from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, according to Reuters.

Kuten and colleagues studied the breath of 177 people, consisting of healthy persons and some patients with various types of cancer, to detect different chemicals which are emitted from the surface of cancer cells when it begins to grow.

This finding, which have been published in the British Journal of Cancer, is a continuation of previous research studies which have been published by scientists from the same institute last year.

In the previous research, sensors made with gold nanoparticles can detect lung cancer through breath. The tool is called the cancer breathalyzer test.

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