A breath test can detect lung cancer with "moderate accuracy," according to new research. The test uses a color sensor to detect the unique chemical signature in the breath of people with lung cancer.
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Researchers used the breath test on 122 people with various respiratory conditions, including 49 people with non-small cell lung cancer, and 21 healthy people.
The breath test detected lung cancer in about 73% of people who had it. Age, sex, or stage of disease didn't affect results.
Researchers say this type of breath testing could lead to an inexpensive screening tool for lung cancer, which is hard to detect early.
Mazzone PJ, et al., Lung cancer diagnosis by the analysis of exhaled breath with a colorimetric sensor array, Thorax, published online ahead of print, February 27, 2007.