Breathalyzer Successfully Detects Stomach Cancer

A simple breath test.

Image Courtesy of Flickr, Djuliet

Only one in five people, who receive a stomach cancer diagnosis, will have the option of surgery as treatment. When stomach cancer is named the culprit of abdominal pains and discomfort, for many, it's usually too late. A new on-the-spot test could change the fate stomach cancer patients.

Scientists in the U.K. recently completed a successful first trial of a test that detects stomach cancer in someone's exhalation, according to a report by The Guardian. In a trial run with 130 patients, the breath test was able to accurately detect cancer 90 percent of the time.

The primary diagnostic test currently is an upper endoscopy. The patient is sedated, so the doctor can insert narrow tube with a camera, down the throat to inspect the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Tissue samples are taken of any abnormal areas for biopsy. The stomach cancer breath test could drive down costs of diagnosis and enable early detection, which will ultimately save lives. The early signs and symptoms of stomach cancer are decreased appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, nausea and other virus-like symptoms.

[via The Guardian]

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