'Breath' test picks up breast cancer

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A breath test can establish in as little as 6 minutes if women have breast cancer or an abnormal mammogram, according to a study by Maastricht UMC+ and the Maastro Clinic. The promising results were published today in the scientific magazine  PLOS ONE. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, and along with lung cancer responsible for the highest fatality rate due to cancer.

One in every eight women get breast cancer at some point in their lives. The breath test was developed by the American Menssana Research and is able to rule out if a subject has breast cancer with almost 100 percent certainty, and even detects if the subjects would have an abnormal mammogram. The test measures volatile organic compounds in exhaled air. Women with breast cancer produce a different 'profile' of these compounds than healthy women. The study was subsidized by Foundation Pink Ribbon, Research School GROW of Maastricht UMC+, the Maastro Clinic, and the US National Institutes of Health.