Can breath test detect stomach cancers earlier?

Posted at 4:45 PM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 18:11:17-05
This new research sounds promising.  World-wide, 1.4 million cases of stomach and esophagus cancer are diagnosed. These cancers are often found late because there are no early warning signs.  Unfortunately, there’s only a 15 percent chance of a five-year survival rate.  But a new test may change these stats.  A research team collect breath samples from over 300 patients with and without these cancers.  The accuracy rate was 85%.
Cancer cells are different from healthy ones.  So a different mixture of chemicals get produced. This test was able to measure levels of 5 chemicals in the breath.  The researchers plan to conduct a larger trial to see how accurately the test performs before deciding if it can be used on patients everywhere.  
Everyone should take steps to lower their risk of any type of cancer. 
1. Avoid smoking.  It can cause many types of cancer and can also block your body from fighting it.
2. Get regular exercise.  It may be a protective factor for some types of cancer and is associated with a reduced risk of stomach cancer.
3. Eat a healthy diet.  Make sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables.
4. Limit your alcohol.  Women can have one drink a day and men can have two drinks daily.
Right now, the only way to diagnose stomach or esophageal cancer is with an endoscopy.  It’s a flexible tube sent down a patient’s throat to their stomach so we can see the digestive tract.  If you’re suffering with feeling bloated after eating, or feeling full after eating small amounts of food, have unrelenting heartburn or indigestion, have difficulty swallowing or have stomach pain, then you should make an appointment to talk these symptoms over with your doctor.