Cancer-detecting gum may soon be available

- You won’t find it in your local candy store, but soon there may be a new chewing gum that could help save your life.

It isn’t Juicy Fruit or Bazooka, but a gum being developed by an Alabama company called Volatile Analysis that’s designed to determine whether a person has cancer.

The gum absorbs what are known as “volatiles” in a person’s saliva as they chew it, then the chewed gum is analyzed to determine whether it contains certain chemicals produced in the body when a person has cancer.

Katherine Bazemore, president and CEO of Volatile Analysis explained that there are chemicals produced in the body called volatile organic compounds, and they are unique to each type of cancer. By determining which of those compounds are found in the gum, doctors can tell which type of cancer is present in the patient.

The reason for using chewing gum, Bazemore said, is because it remains in your mouth over an extended period of time and is durable enough to withstand testing. With use of the gum, patients would no longer need to go through blood tests or urine analysis. 

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