Early detection, especially for cancer, is key to survival, and a new technology that detects it from your breath could be a big help.The main key to treating any number of diseases, especially cancer, is early detection. The sooner someone finds out that something is wrong, the more likely he or she will survive the onset of a deadly disease, such as cancer. However, all too often, people are diagnosed only when it is too late.
According to the Japan Times, the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), along with Kyocera Corp., NEC Corp., Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Co., Osaka University and a precision equipment maker in Switzerland, are working on a sensor that, when attached to a smartphone, could detect cancer from human breath.
The sensor would consist of a film with a microchip embedded in it that will detect certain substances in breath that are peculiar to people with cancer. A person would breathe on the sensor, and his or her smartphone would display the results, indicating the likelihood that cancer is present. If the readout is positive, he or she could then consult with a health care professional for further tests and, if cancer is confirmed, start treatment.
The device may be able to distinguish what kind of cancer the individual who uses it has. Furthermore, the sensor may be refined to detect other diseases that can manifest in human breath, such as diabetes, kidney and liver diseases, and asthma.
When the sensor is available by 2022, it will prove to be an innovative product that can provide an early diagnosis of cancer and perhaps other diseases. The device will make cancer screening more convenient, therefore more common, and thus could save many lives.