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Surprising Science

New Device Smells Cancer on Your Breath

With the cost of healthcare and the rise in cancer screenings, researchers have developed a low-cost way for doctors to prescreen patients for lung and breast cancer.

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What’s the Latest Development?

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have come up with an easy and more affordable way to detect certain kinds of cancer. The cancer breathalyzer is designed to prescreen individuals for signs of lung and breast cancer. All a patient will need to do is breathe into the breathalyzer, which has a special container to preserve the air for up to two months. The device was first unveiled at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, but it has not gone through clinical trials. It is also believed to be able to “reduce costs for American patients, while enabling expanded screening in countries with inadequate infrastructure and taboos against mammograms.” However, the device is not as accurate as the other, more traditional and costly screenings. It will only tell doctors whether or not there should be cause for further concern. 

What’s the Big Idea?

All the patient will need to do is breathe into a device, which will be shipped off to a lab to determine whether or not a patient needs to receive further tests and screenings. According to researchers, the breathalyzer will not eliminate current screenings. Yet, researchers believe that for the people who struggle with healthcare costs and have “little to no access to cancer screening technology, this invention may be enough to save lives.”  


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