Cancer Detection with Breathalyzer Device


This week on Health Tech Weekly is a look at a potential cancer diagnosis breakthrough that could change the way we get the early jump on cancer. Researchers at Rey Juan Carlos University and Alcorcon Hospital in Madrid, Spain have discovered that people with certain kinds of oral and throat cancers release some unique levels of volatile chemicals.

Throat Cancers Give Off Volatile Organic Compounds

Breath-AnalyzerThese can be detected with a specially calibrated breathalyzer device similar to the one used by police to test potential intoxicated drivers. This works because human breath contains many different volatile organic compounds or VOCs and apparently, measuring the level of them may indicate different cancers including cancer of larynx.

The study was conducted with a group of patients with known throat cancer or cancer of the larynx and their results were compared to a group of people without cancer. The resulting VOC levels could be used to not only detect the presence of a cancer but also to detect the size of the tumor since apparently the larger the tumor the higher the levels of particular VOCs.

This and breakthroughs like it are important because a technology like this one is much less invasive and less expensive than imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs. Stay tuned here to Health Tech Weekly as I will continue to follow this story and others like it so that you have the latest health technology information out there.


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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at out website,, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at

I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. I’ll be back soon with more health technology for you. In the meantime, remember that improving health takes small, simple steps that over time all add up to a healthier you. Why don’t you take a healthier step today?

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