Breath test can detect colon cancer
Biopsies, MRIs, CT scans, x-rays and other means have been used to help diagnose different types of cancer around the body. Colon cancer has traditionally been identified through a colonoscopy, a blood stool test or barium enema x-ray – but doctors may have found a new way. Researchers from the University Aldo Moro (Italy) have created a method in which a patient's breath can be examined to potentially diagnose colon cancer.
The test, similar to a breathalyzer, was tested on 78 people, 37 of whom had colon cancer and 41 who did not. The breath test showed a common, distinct pattern of chemicals among those who had colon cancer and not present in the healthy individuals.
Groundbreaking in nature, this type of minimally-invasive, timely examination method has been the dream of doctors for decades, especially for a deadly condition such as colon cancer. Though still in its infancy of development, this breath test could open the door to faster, more efficient treatment of cancer.