Many people over 50 have had a colonoscopy, to test for colon cancer.
An upper endoscopy is a similar test and commonly used to identify esophageal or gastric cancer.
But Many people with symptoms that look like gastric cancer — like severe heartburn — have an upper endoscopy that shows no cancer.
This had researchers in the U-K interested in a less expensive, more accurate test to screen for esophagogoastric cancer — a breath test.
They found the breath test was able to accurately identify esophageal or gastric cancer about 80 per cent of the time — compared to a two-to-five per cent rate of cancer diagnosis from the difficult and expensive upper endoscopy.
The findings are published in the journal Oncology. (ABC)