Researchers are hopeful that a breath test could let patients with stomach issues find out if they are at a higher risk of developing cancer.
Going off of the idea that people with cancer may have tiny chemical compounds in their breath that others do not have, researchers studied the breath samples of 145 people, including 30 patients who were known to have stomach cancer, the BBC reports. The scientists were easily able to distinguish cancerous samples from non-cancerous ones, and had success in finding pre-cancerous samples. They did misdiagnose some patients as being high risk for cancer when they were not.
In most Western countries, stomach cancer is often diagnosed when in its later stages, because symptoms like pain and indigestion can easily be attributed to other diseases. Scientists want to detect stomach cancer earlier so more lives will be saved, and they are now conducting further tests on thousands of patients in Europe.
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