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‘Balloon test’ to detect cancer could save millions of lives

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A revolutionary test, equivalent to blowing the balloon to detect blood alcohol levels, could be used to diagnose tumours and prevent millions of deaths.

Innovative technology called ‘Breath Biopsy’ (‘Breath Biopsy’) detects changes in the normal smell of cells.

The test that is still under development has already shown to be successful in detecting cases of lung cancer.

Scientists believe the device is still able to evidence tumours in the bladder, stomach, prostate, kidneys, liver, pancreas and oesophagus.

A clinical trial will be conducted shortly by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, during which 1,500 volunteers will breathe into that apparatus for 10 minutes.

If successful, it is estimated that the breathalyzer can be available in hospitals and health centres within the next five years. This being the first test of the type able to diagnose various types of cancer.

Study leader, researcher and physician Rebecca Fitzgerald said: “We urgently need tools such as this breathalyzer that will allow us to detect tumours in the early stages, thereby providing patients with a better chance of survival.

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