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How can lung cancer be detected before it becomes advanced?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that more than 224,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in a year, and more than 158,000 people with lung cancer will die -- that translates to 433 lung cancer deaths per day in the United States. These grim statistics underscore the need for early detection. Breath analysis may allow doctors to diagnose people with primary or recurrent lung cancer long before they suffer from symptoms -- a time when there are more options for treatment and the best chance for cure.
 
Currently, people with lung cancer are followed after surgery with chest computed tomography (CT) scans, which can be inconvenient, expensive and expose the person to radiation. The breath analysis can serve as the primary screening tool for cancer recurrence and a CT scan ordered only if the breath test suggests that there has been a change.

To obtain FDA approval for the test as a screening tool for lung cancer, a very large multicenter trial of approximately 7,000 people needs to be done, to show that the breath test is as good a method of identifying lung cancer as CT scans are. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.