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Could a breathalyser test mean an earlier diagnosis of cancer?

The two-year trial will take place at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge and scientists hope it could lead to a cheaper and simpler method of detecting cancers earlier.

The Breath Biopsy device is designed to detect cancer hallmark molecules exhaled by patients, and initial tests will focus on patients with suspected oesophageal and stomach cancers. This will eventually be extended to include prostate, kidney, bladder, liver and pancreatic cancers.

Patients will be asked to breathe into the breathalyser for a total of 10 minutes, and if successful it could revolutionise cancer diagnosis in the future.

This far less invasive method is a huge step forward and could well be seen in GP surgeries in the not-too-distant future. it is hoped it will encourage patients to seek help and visit the GP if they do spot symptoms, it will speed up the diagnosis process, resulting in quicker and more effective treatment providing peace of mind for cancer patients and reducing GP appointment times.

The NHS is already working hard to improve the diagnosis time of cancer in patients, new initiatives launched in 2018 included rapid diagnosis and assessment centres (currently being piloted in 10 NHS hospitals) which make it possible for patients displaying symptoms of cancer to be assessed and diagnosed in as little as a day, and new scanning technology (mpMRI) which aims to slash diagnosis times for prostate cancer, while also reducing the risk of sepsis.

Earlier this week, it was also reported that experts have developed a potentially "game changing" test to predict a woman's risk of cancer. The test is not yet routinely available on the NHS, with some GPs and specialists trialling it first. The hope is for more people to be diagnosed earlier, and survive the disease longer. The BBC news item can be viewed here.

Our expert medical negligence lawyers provide sensitive and timely legal advice to people with mistreated cancer claims.

If the cancer is late diagnosed, undiagnosed or improper treatment has been given, you may be able to claim compensation. Get in touch with our expert lawyers to see how we can help - 01603 877000.



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