Breath can tell if you’ve lung cancer

A simple breath test can now predict if you are at an early stage of lung cancer

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The University of Louisville developed a special device that can predict whether or not you may be prone to lung cancer. Using this device, researchers at the university tested the exhaled breath of people with dangerous lung lesions that were detected on CT scans. The breath was tested for four types of carbonyls. Carbonyls are cancer-specific substances. If three out of four carbonyls show high levels, lung cancer has a fat chance in about 95% of patients while having normal levels of these substances was predictive of a noncancerous growth in about 80% patients.

According to the study, elevated carbonyl levels normalised after a surgery performed to remove the cancer. The study was published this Tuesday at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons annual meeting in Orlando.

Earlier, patients needed to go through an invasive biopsy procedure when a suspicious lung mass was found. Now this study suggests that exhaled breath can easily identify which patients need an immediate surgery making it simpler and much easier for the patients to get a diagnosis for lung cancer.

However, the conclusions of this study presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.