To this end, a simple and cheap breath test has been developed by scientists to differentiate between benign lung disease and the early stages of cancer.
Scientists from the University of Louisville School of Medicine have developed a test, reported the Mail Online that "offers the sensitivity of present positron emission tomography (PET) scans but with almost twice the specificity."
PET scans, say the NHS, "are used to produce detailed three-dimensional images of the inside of the body. The images clearly show the part of the body being investigated and can highlight how effectively certain functions of the body are working." So in the case of cancer, it should how far it has spread and whether it is responding to treatment.
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Associate Professor Dr Michael Bousamra II of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery has said that the new test would not replace scans but rather be used alongside scans that test positive.
He said: "This breath analysis method presents the potential for a cheaper and more reliable diagnostic option for patients found to have bulky disease on a CT scan.
"If the breath analysis is negative, the patient may, in some instances, be followed with repeated exams without necessitating a biopsy. But a positive breath analysis would indicate that the patient may proceed to definitive biopsy, thus expediting treatment."
(H/T: Mail Online)