Detecting Stomach Cancer With a Simple Breath Test
According to a study which was published by the BMJ journal, scientists have discovered a new technology that can sense cancer compounds via exhaled breath. This test can now be used as a screening test to detect stomach cancer. The test can identify if cancer cells are present in the stomach and they also manage to detect if a person is at risk of developing cancer.
The test is called Nanoarray analysis and is one of the simplest tests that has been developed so far to detect cancer cells in a person’s body. A recent study conducted by the American Cancer Society states that the average five-year survival rate for patients suffering from stomach cancer is just 28%. This means that most stomach cancer patients detect the disease after it has spread to various parts of their body. It is easy to increase the life span of a stomach cancer patient if the cancer is detected before the cancer spreads to other parts of the body. This simple test can increase the survival rate to about 64% and is the first test that manages to detect early stages of cancer.
The test was first conducted at the Russel Berrie Nanotechnology Institute - Israel. Researchers collected samples of breath from over 500 people. Ninety-nine samples belonged to people who were suffering from stomach cancer but were not under treatment. The breath prints of all patients were different and those who suffered from cancer had a particular compound present which made it easy to identify. The levels of breath prints also enabled researchers to determine the stage of cancer and also those who were in a pre-cancerous stage. It also helped identify people who were at a high risk of cancer in future. The results were consistent and did not vary based on age or any other factors such as alcohol consumption or the use of any stomach related medication.
Before the breath test was developed, a test called GCMS was being considered to detect stomach cancer cells. This procedure was a more expensive alternative and involved a lengthy process in order to determine the presence of cancer cells. Nanoarray analysis on the other hand is affordable, easy to use and involves a simple process.
This test avoids complicated endoscopy procedures and manages to detect the presence of cancer cells with a simple breath test. One of the best parts about this test is that it is easy to use and simple which makes patients comfortable taking it. It is also a lot more affordable in comparison to the other cancer screening tests which are expensive, complicated and involve long procedures. This technology is on its way to Europe where thousands of patients will be tested for stomach cancer. This will help identify the patients already suffering from the disease and those who are at high risk to develop cancer.
This test can also help to monitor the growth of the cancer cells and also helps to identify how well a patient is responding to treatment.