Does Cancer Cause an Odor?


Quick Answer

Researchers have identified an odor associated with skin cancer, according to MIT Technology Review. In addition, scientists are developing a breath-analysis machine to detect colon, prostate, breast and lung cancers, states WebMD.

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Full Answer

Scientists have suspected since 1989 that dogs can detect a smell associated with cancer, states The New York Times. Based on this theory, researchers developed a breath-test device that may detect cancer. The device is over 75 percent accurate, and it changes color when it detects certain biochemicals connected with cancer, according to WebMD. The breath-sampling machine is at least 10,000 times as sensitive as the human nose, states The New York Times. Therefore, the chemical fingerprint or scent of cancer may not be identifiable to humans.

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