According to a new study published in The Annals of Thoracic Science, a single breath is all it may take to identify the return of lung cancer after surgery.
The study states that the air we breathe out contains thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that vary in composition and pattern depending on a person’s health status.
The study focussed on the exhaled breath of lung cancer patients and discovered a common subset of four VOCs called carbonyl compounds, that were present in all patients.
The study was conducted at the University of Louisville. Researchers analysed and compared samples from 31 lung cancer patients to 187 healthy patients.
The researchers found a significant decrease in overall carbonyl VOC levels following surgery. In fact, three of the four carbonyl VOCs normalised after surgery, matching levels in the control group.
To find out how the breath test works, read the full article from Knowridge here.