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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