Changing 3 Words of Dread to Optimism

“I’ve got cancer”. It’s the phrase that sends shivers down your spine. The one that happens to other people, not you. Those 3 words that you pray you’ll never hear… or say. But when your loved one sits you down and plants it in front of you – so many questions jump to the foreground: What sort? How did you know? What can we do about it? And most provocatively – if we knew earlier, would it be a different story?

Lung cancer can grow silently, and predominantly the diagnosis comes after the cancer has already spread. Most of the time when patients start having symptoms, like chest pain, weight loss or coughing up blood; the cancer is already in late stages. In the United States, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women but is the leading cause of cancer death. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

75% of people diagnosed at stage 1 will survive lung cancer. By stage 4, this drops to 5% of people. Unfortunately, at present only 14.5% of patients are diagnosed at stage 1, showing there is an urgent and growing need to improve early diagnosis of this life-changing disease.

Lung cancer is precisely the kind of disease where ANCON Medical’s advanced disease screening technology can be life-saving. With further funding for the Nanoparticle Biomarker Tagging (NBT) technology, medical providers will be able to screen for cancers, as well as a range of other diseases, simply by testing a patient’s breath. The results can alert doctors to the presence of the cancer and the need for further diagnosis, leading to life-saving treatment that can stop the cancer before it can progress.

The technology works by detecting breath specific “biomarkers,” which are DNA-protein controlled volatile organic compound (VOC) metabolites specific to diseases. Researchers have discovered biomarkers for more than 400 diseases, including lung and other cancers.

By using machine learning software in association with the NBT technology the device can hunt for these specific molecules, so that the disease can be diagnosed early, thereby increasing treatment options and survival probability. No technology on the market is as highly sensitive at detecting biomarkers as NBT, which can detect the fingerprints of the disease at concentrations as low as one ion in 10,000 cubic centimeters, giving the device a sensitivity that could be measured down to a single molecule.

“The NBT device is very versatile. It can be used to screen for diseases such as cancer and later be reassigned to test for a range of other diseases when needed,” says ANCON Medical’s CEO, Wesley Baker, who is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine. “Lung cancer, scleroderma, cervical cancer, the Flu virus, tuberculosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are just some of the diseases where known biomarkers have been discovered, and ANCON’s NBT can improve the speed of diagnosis.”


Further reading:

Ancon Medical’s NBT technology research, visit

UK statistics on Lung Cancer, visit

American Cancer Society, visit

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