Breath of Hope for Easier Cancer Tests; Researchers Breathe New Life into Old Technique for Detecting Illness

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 12, 2008 | Go to article overview

Breath of Hope for Easier Cancer Tests; Researchers Breathe New Life into Old Technique for Detecting Illness


Byline: Robin Turner

A BREATH test for diagnosing cancer and other diseases is being developed by researchers at a Welsh university.

The system works by analysing all the component chemicals and compounds that make up a patient's breath.

Swansea University scientists hope their revolutionary breath test will be able to detect cancers early, eliminating the need for invasive surgery.

Doctors have known since the Middle Ages the aroma of breath can hold a clue to what's wrong with a patient. For example, there is often a sweet smell of "pears" in patients with uncontrolled diabetes, a fishy odour to advanced liver disease, as well as a urine-like smell that comes in the breath when kidneys are failing.

Scientists have long suspected there are other, less obvious clues to disease in the breath, but until now have lacked the knowledge and equipment to use them.

Although there are reckoned to be more than 400 different breath chemicals that could be used, most are present in such small amounts - one part in a trillion in some cases - they have been difficult to pick up.

Now scientists at the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating at Swansea University's School of Engineering are using sophisticated techniques to pick up the chemicals and analyse them.

The complex methods include gas chromatography (electronic recognition of particles suspended in a gas stream), mass spectrometry (identifying individual particles by their different atomic weights) and thermal desorption (using heat to separate particles from other compounds). The three methods can identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in breath.

Swansea University's Dr Masood Yousef said, "Studies have shown high concentrations of certain VOCs in breath can correlate with disease. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Breath of Hope for Easier Cancer Tests; Researchers Breathe New Life into Old Technique for Detecting Illness
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.