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Catch it early

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Detecting oesophageal cancer earlier just got easier with ‘WATS 3D imaging’, a technique that allows doctors to detect precancerous cells in the oesophagus (food pipe), also called Barrett’s oesophagus. This technique brushes the entire area of the oesophagus, unlike a traditional biopsy with forceps, which covers only 20 per cent of the oesophagus. The new technique thus increases the accuracy of the biopsy and facilitates detection of pre-cancerous cells.

Earlier studies demonstrate that stomach and oesophageal cancers can be ‘sniffed out’ on one’s breath. The technique has the individual blowing into a bag, with one’s breath then being analysed for markers in the volatile organic compounds present in the breath. Scientists at Imperial College, London, claim the test is 85 per cent accurate. The study was published in Jama Oncology.

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Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
November 2018