Lung cancer kills 240,000 people across the EU every year. Early diagnosis is vital but until now difficult. A consortium of European researchers at Innsbruck University are developing a new way of analysing the air we breathe out. Collecting samples is non-invasive, simple, quick, safe and easy for the patient. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
The new analysis process can determine the precise chemical composition of each sample. So because even the smallest cancers release microscopic particles in the breath, even tiny cancers can be detected. Scientists hope that the method will be widely used within the next 5-6 years, and are looking at how it might be used to detect other forms of cancer.