7 Mar 2013

Stomach cancer breath test diagnosis

6:09 am on 7 March 2013

An international study has found a quick and simple breath test can diagnose stomach cancer.

Scientists from Israel and China found the test was 90% accurate at detecting and distinguishing cancers from other stomach complaints in 130 patients.

The British Journal of Cancer says the test could revolutionise and speed up the way this cancer is diagnosed.

Currently doctors diagnose stomach cancer by taking a biopsy of the stomach lining using a probe and a flexible camera passed via mouth and down the gullet.

The BBC reports the new test looks for chemical profiles in exhaled breath that are unique to patients with stomach cancer.

In the study, 37 of the patients had stomach cancer, 32 had stomach ulcers and 61 had other stomach complaints.

As well as accurately distinguishing between these conditions 90% of the time, the breath test could tell the difference between early and late-stage stomach cancers.

The team is now running a bigger study in more patients to validate their test.