SEOUL, July 24 (UPI) -- Researchers in South Korea say they can detect breast cancer at the earliest stage by analyzing a person's breath.
RNL Natural Co., a biotechechology company with headquarters in Seoul conducted a study of 35 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 35 healthy women without breast cancer.
The study found breath analysis -- inspired by canines' ability to recognize distinct scents in an extremely sensitive manner -- can help physicians screen breast cancer patients at a very early stage.
The testing method uses a breathalyzer that recognizes patterns of volatile organic compounds.
"With the breathalyzer, there is a pathway for breast cancer to be detected at the earliest stages and treatment can be started sooner," the researchers say in a statement.
"This method of screening is simple and painless. It is available to women who are concerned about the disease and can get tested sooner. Costs are also lower for screening and treatment through the breathalyzer."
A patent is pending and the findings are scheduled to be published by the end of this year, RNL Natural officials say.