A recent clinical study has shown promising results in the diagnosis of gastric and oesophageal cancer.
The test has been shown to predict cancer in more than 90% of cases and is significantly less invasive than the current endoscopic diagnostic.
As with so many cancers, early diagnosis is important in long term survival rates. Gastric and oesophageal cancers account for more than 15% of cancer deaths worldwide and survival rates in the UK are as low as 13% because the cancer is often only diagnosed in the latter stages due to the lack of early stage symptoms.
The treatment is likely to be welcomed by the NHS as it could ease the strain on an overburdened system by allowing quicker diagnosis and reduced waiting times as well as providing cost savings of up to £145m per year.
The test is due to be rolled out for a larger study involving three hospitals in the London area to help develop a sensor device to detect malignant tumours.
The device is able to detect distinct chemical compounds given off in exhaled breath that are unique to patients with oesophageal and gastric cancers. The device, which is similar to a breathalyser used in alcohol detection, will require patients to breathe through a tube into a bag that can then be analysed.
As the procedure is still in its early stages, a mass roll out is unlikely to occur for several years. As the number of oesophageal and gastric cancers continues to rise with current statistics stating 16,000 new diagnoses being made in the UK every year, it will be important for medical practitioners to continue to rely on current methods of diagnosis to detect and treat these types of cancer.
If you or a family member discovered cancer late or because the symptoms were missed by a medical professional you should arrange a consultation. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we will advise you on how successful your compensation claim could be.