Bad Breath or Possible DiseaseBy
Can your breath detect breast cancer and other diseases? Someday in the near future it just might. Currently doctors use several breath odors in diagnosing certain diseases. A strong fruity odor from your breath may indicate untreated diabetes or other irregular odors can signify either liver or lung disease.
The process of expelling breaths from your lungs is one way the body uses to excrete waste. Gases are filtered out of your blood as they pass through your lungs. As diseases develop in the body, they create certain wastes or bio-markers that are excreted as gases in our blood. These gases are then released out of the body through your expelled breath. The idea is to measure these gases or combination of gases to assist in diagnosing developing illnesses or disease.
Scientist are currently developing a technique that can measure these gases or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your expelled breath. There are approximately over 3000 of these compounds in every breath. They currently have machines that are so sensitive, that they can detect a single molecule amid several billion air molecules. This process will be initially used to study breaths of patients with renal disease and to study children with respiratory problems such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.
The next goal in this evolving technology would be, to detect one molecule in a trillion. This would broaden the applications and it is theorized that scientist and doctors would then be able to identify the beginnings of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease as well as several other life threatening conditions. The earlier they can detect these diseases and begin treatment, the higher the chance of a patients survival.
The existing machines are very expensive and the type that will eventually be needed to detect even smaller samples, no doubt will be pricey, but with all technology, as you are able to mass produce, the cost would invariably decrease. So it is not to hard to imagine, sometime in the near future, that when you visit your doctor, he/she can possibly do a fast, low cost, easy to preform, non-invasive breath test to diagnose a broad range of medical conditions and irregularities.