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Breath test for stomach cancer

(National Post) Doctors may soon be able to diagnose (and rule out) stomach cancer in patients using a breath test.

Israel and China researchers working at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology say they have developed a quick and simple to administer test that examines compounds in human breath that help them distinguish between gastric cancer, ulcers, and other common stomach ailments. The team’s study, published this month in the British Journal of Cancer, claims the test is accurate in 90% of cases.

They go on to note some limitations of their pilot study — having only 130 patients complaining of stomach problems to work with, for example — but they offer up that these early results are promising for additional avenues of research.