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The Stench of Cancer
It’s the latest scent you don’t want to smell: skin cancer. Researchers have found that people with a skin cancer health diagnosis have an “odor profile” that is “markedly different” from people with healthy skin. Natural chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are what create the different skin smells.
This odoriferous news excites researchers because they’re hoping to develop a quick and easy smell test that could diagnose the most common form of skin cancer, rather than having to do visual exams and biopsies. However, the researchers are quick to point out that this study is preliminary and much more examination is necessary.
This is not the first time smell tests on cancer detection have been studied. Earlier this year, Ohio researchers found that breath sensors detected lung cancer’s distinct scent in 75% of cases.
The article never explains what exactly skin cancer smells like. Because it’s cancer, one would likely imagine the smell to be unpleasant. But is it dirty-gym-socks unpleasant, burnt-toast unpleasant or dirty-diaper-with-curry-on-top unpleasant? Or is that completely wrong and maybe skin cancer has a deceptively sweet and citrus-like scent?
What do you imagine skin cancer to smell like? [HealthDay]