Thousands of lives could be saved as a new breath test has been developed to spot deadly diseases like stomach cancer, which kills over a thousand people per year in Australia.
— Starr Sackstein (@mssackstein) January 20, 2017
Revolutionary new device
Researchers at Imperial College London tested the device on 300 volunteers and measured five different chemicals in each puff.
The breath samples were found to be 85 per cent accurate, and it’s believed the contraption could make it simpler to screen patients for hidden tumours. Currently, stomach and gullet cancers can only be detected by an endoscopy (a camera inserted down the throat).
Scientists also hope the new breath test will lead to cancers being detected earlier, resulting in more effective treatments and saving lives. Stomach cancers are often diagnosed late and there are poor survival rates.
— StomachCancerCa (@StomachCancerCa) January 30, 2017
“The only way to diagnose gullet or stomach cancer is with endoscopy. This method is expensive, invasive and has some risk of complications,” says Dr Sheraz Markar, from Imperial College London.
“In the long-term a breath test could mean earlier diagnosis and treatment and better survival.”
Tests to detect other cancers
The results were presented at the European Cancer Congress meeting in Amsterdam, and experts say they plan to develop breath tests for bowel and pancreatic cancers. Trials of the breathalyser are expected to run for another three years.
This comes after there’s been a new breakthrough in detecting cervical cancer.
Also being aware of changes in your breasts and understanding the signs and symptoms of breast cancer could help save your life.