Gastroenterology & GI Surgery

Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology & GI Surgery Page! With one of the largest group of digestive disease specialists in the world, Mayo Clinic has been recognized as the nation's best Gastroenterology & GI Surgery hospital by U.S. News & World Report. Follow the page to learn about clinical trials and up-to-date research, and find resources for all your gastroenterology needs. Our goal is to connect you to others, and become informed decision makers; so post a comment, share your story, own your health.

Jan 17, 2019

Breath Test for Esophagogastric Cancer

By Kanaaz Pereira, Connect Moderator, @kanaazpereira

What if a simple breath test could detect gastric and esophageal cancer? In this video, Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, Dr. Kenneth Wang, M.D., explains the research and potential of breath analysis as a non-invasive tool in the diagnosis of esophagogastric cancer.

In people who are at risk of developing gastric and esophageal cancer, there are certain bacteria which metabolize and give off waste product or “chemical signature.” The breath test is a relatively simple procedure, where a person breathes into a portable, battery-operated machine for about 5 minutes. The device gathers the "chemical signature" from the breath, which can indicate whether the patient is likely to have Barrett’s esophagus and cancer of the esophagus and stomach or not.

Although this method is still being researched with larger trials, the results show promise as a non-invasive method with earlier diagnosis, treatment and better survival for gastric and esophageal cancer.

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