Their study included 78 participants who were asked to exhale into special bags. 37 of them had been diagnosed with colon cancer and 41 were healthy control subjects. Their breath was analyzed for volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Researchers found a specific pattern of VOCs in colon cancer patients that was not present in the healthy group.
They then analyzed the breath of 25 additional people using the VOC pattern to try to identify those with colon cancer. The overall accuracy rate for diagnosis was 76 percent.
Researchers say their findings support the value of breath sampling as a screening tool, though it is in the early phase of development. They are calling for further study with a larger group of subjects.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news for healthier living.
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