A New Chewing Gum May Be Able to Detect Cancer

Volatile Analysis is testing an unusual method for diagnosing the disease

April 11, 2017
Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Diagnosing cancer is about to get a lot more fun! Well, relatively speaking.

Alabama company Volatile Analysis is developing a chewing gum able to determine whether or not you have cancer. The goal of the product is to eliminate a patient’s need to go through blood or urine tests to determine if the have cancer.

Absorbing elements of one’s saliva known as “volatiles,” the gum would be analyzed after a chewing session to see whether certain cancer-produced chemicals are present. According to Volatile Analysis CEO Katherine Bazemore, there are chemicals in the body known as volatile organic compounds that are unique to different kinds of cancer. The company said gum is well suited to detect which of these compounds exist in a person’s body due to its durability and the extended time spent in the mouth.

“Over the last 15 years there have been a lot of attempts with different products and processes for early detection of cancer,” Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, told Fox News. Some of those recent examples include breath samples and even cancer-sniffing dogs. “None of these efforts are proven to detect cancer early,” Lichtenfeld continued.

While the Volatile Analysis gum is still in the testing phase, the company promises that it will be available in tasty flavors, though it may not be able to blow bubbles.

Read more about the story here.

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