Fighting Colon Cancer

Tools

Story Updated: Dec 6, 2012

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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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com