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Is a breath test for colon cancer possible?

Published: Wednesday, July 29 2015 10:15 a.m. MDT

Though in the beginning stages of their study, researchers have found through a breath test colon cancer had been detected 76 percent of the time.  (Shutterstock.com) Though in the beginning stages of their study, researchers have found through a breath test colon cancer had been detected 76 percent of the time. (Shutterstock.com)

Our take: There are multiple ways to be tested for colon cancer, yet about 40 percent of Americans aren't getting screened, according to Amy Norton, journalist for U.S. News. But perhaps more would be screened if they knew their breath could be another way to conduct a test. Norton explains the possibilities:

"If colon cancer screening was as easy as taking a breath, more people might do it. Now, a small pilot study suggests such a test could be developed.

The study, of 78 people with and without colon cancer, found that those with the disease tended to have a distinct pattern of chemicals in their breath. And when researchers analyzed the study participants' breath samples, they correctly identified the colon cancer patients 76 percent of the time."

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company