Health

9 Conditions Your Breath Can Reveal

Could lung cancer be a cause of bad breath? Pathologists normally perform biopsies and ultrasound scans to diagnose lung cancer, but using breath tests may be a cheaper, noninvasive alternative, according to one study. Researchers used a preprogrammed “electronic nose,” which detects different profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath, to examine breath samples from 475 subjects. The group included a mix of 252 lung cancer patients, 223 patients with different lung conditions and healthy volunteers, 265 smokers, and 210 nonsmokers.

They found that among the nonsmokers, the electronic nose accurately identified lung cancer in 128 subjects and misdiagnosed in only 5. Among smokers, the electronic nose correctly identified 114 people as having lung cancer, misdiagnosing 5.

What’s more, a study found that accuracy of breath tests to detect lung cancer continues to improve, thanks to the use of more specific VOCs.

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