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Everyone dreads the word cancer, and with good reason. That uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells can crop up anywhere in the body and cause death. Of course there are many different types and stages of cancer, and some are more deadly or more aggressive than others; some are even treatable if caught early enough.  And that’s something about which scientists and doctors agree – early detection.

Lung cancer can be particularly difficult to detect and diagnose in its early stages, and that’s one of the reasons its various forms are so deadly. Sometimes the symptoms are in the lungs, but sometimes they can appear elsewhere in the body.

But now researchers think there may be a way for your breath to indicate the presence of lung cancer.  Reporting about a research paper presented to the European Respiratory Society in Munich, Gizmodo tells us that there may be a simple, non-invasive breath test that can tell your doctor if there’s cancer present.

“Here’s how the researchers went about the experiment: 82 people, who had been referred for a full diagnostic test after an X-Ray suggested the presence of lung cancer, were asked to breathe into a breath thermometer known as an X-Halo device. (Ex-hale…get it?)”

“Almost half of them received a positive diagnosis, while the other half came up negative. When the researchers measured the breath temperature of the patients who tested positive, they found it higher than those who didn’t. The temperature was higher if the cancer had progressed. It was also higher in long-term smokers.”

But you still have to get yourself to the doctor if you have any of these symptoms according to

Photo: d e x t e r . via Flickr

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) / CC BY-SA 2.0

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

For months, one postal worker had been doing all she could to protect herself from COVID-19. She wore a mask long before it was required at her plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. She avoided the lunch room, where she saw little social distancing, and ate in her car.

The stakes felt especially high. Her husband, a postal worker in the same facility, was at high risk because his immune system is compromised by a condition unrelated to the coronavirus. And the 20-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service knew that her job, operating a machine that sorts mail by ZIP code, would be vital to processing the flood of mail-in ballots expected this fall.

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