Jump to content

Breath Test to Sniff Out Lung Cancer

Recommended Posts

New breath test can sniff out lung cancer

06:07 PM PDT on Wednesday, June 14, 2006

By JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News, Seattle, WA

Lung cancer now claims the lives of more Americans than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. One reason: It’s hardly ever diagnosed early enough. But now, researchers are developing a simple breath test that could make all the difference.

A new breath test can now sniff out lung cancer.

More than 170,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer each year; 160,000 will die from the disease.

"That makes lung cancer far and away the most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States," said Peter Mazzone, MD, pulmonologist

Mazzone says the disease is difficult to diagnose early because there are no symptoms.

"It would be wonderful if we could pick it up as early as possible when it's more easily treated and potentially cured," said Mazzone.

One day that may be possible with a machine that actually sniffs out lung cancer. You simply breathe into the mouthpiece for about 12 minutes.

"It's a nose. It's an electronic nose," said Tarek Mekhail, M.D., medical oncologist.

That nose detects chemical changes in the breath that signal cancer.

"Individuals with bone cancer would have abnormal blood,” said Mekhail. “Individuals with bladder cancer or kidney cancer would have abnormal urine, so we think individuals with lung cancer also have abnormal breath."

A recent study showed an earlier version of the electronic nose was about 75 percent successful at detecting lung cancer.

Roman already knows he has lung cancer but he's participating in a new phase of the study to see if the machine can make an accurate diagnosis.

"If it can pick up on any kind of markers to find them sooner, it's obviously better," said Roman Wlaszyn, study participant.

Researchers hope one day the breath test will screen all kinds of cancers, catching cancer in its earliest stages.

Although the electronic nose is still in the very early stages of testing, doctors say it does have the potential to replace costly and invasive biopsies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just have to make a machine as smart and loving as a dog! They can already be trained to detect lung cancer and in some places have been doing it.

Donna G

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.