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The test for esophageal cancer usually consists of an invasive endoscopic examination and tissue samples. This involves inconvenience and anxiety for the patient as well as significant healthcare costs. It can also expose the patient to a degree of risk.
It’s welcome news therefore that a new test for espohageal cancer, and other gastric cancers, is being trialled. By simply measuring the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath, VOCs specific to these cancers can be identified.
It’s thought that detection rates could be as high as 80%, and importantly detection could be made at an earlier stage due to more frequent testing in vulnerable individuals. The currently very poor 5 year survival rate of 15% is partly due to late diagnosis.
This new test for esophageal cancer, combined with the newly developed sponge test for esophageal cancer, will undoubtedly provide a major improvement in survival rates.
The researchers reported their findings at the 2017 European Cancer Congress. For further detail, click here.
Remember, if you have persistent symptoms of acid reflux don’t hesitate to make an appointment for a check up.