Breath test could aid early detection of cancer

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By indicating the levels of five chemicals in one’s breath, a revolutionary medical test has shown promising results for the early detection of cancer, specifically cancers related to the respiratory and digestive systems. Trial researchers at Imperial College London are working with over 300 patients, who would typically only stand a 15% chance of surviving the five years needed to go through the full treatment process, dependent on the severity and strain of the cancer. Gaining confidence in this non-invasive testing method, it has emerged that the test may be able to diagnose with accuracy of 85%, more than current methods achieve.


Sheraz Markar, of the research team involved, highlighted the significance of the test’s introduction as being lower risk than the endoscopy method, with no invasion of the anatomy and far more cost-effective and speedy to implement. Apart from diagnosing cancer, this test would also have the ability to indicate other related gastric or respiratory ailments, reducing the number of unnecessary endoscopies.