A biotech company in Alabama created a gum that could determine if someone has cancer. The gum absorbs "volatiles," which are a group of chemical compounds released by some forms of cancer, in a person's saliva.
After being chewed for 15 minutes, the product would be examined to determine if any chemicals from a cancer-stricken person were present, according to a Monday Fox News report.
Scientists said the chewed gum would be able to detect pancreatic, lung and breast cancer.
Katherine Bazemore, president and CEO of Volatile Analysis, was inspired to use gum to potentially detect cancer since a person is able to chew it for a long time without it disintegrating.
With this new technique, patients would no longer require going through blood tests or urine analysis to see if they had cancer.
In the past, scientists tried many different ways to detect cancer, like using breath samples and dogs to see if a certain scent was present in a cancer patient.
"Over the last 15 years there have been a lot of attempts with different products and processes for early detection of cancer," Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said to Fox News. "None of these efforts are proven to detect cancer early."
Bazemore added to the Daily Mail Online Tuesday that a person’s breath is a key factor. "Technically, the gum concentrates the volatiles," she said. "Each disease has different chemicals that come out through your breath."
Volatile Analysis said the gum is currently in the testing stage, as it is still early to determine how well it would work. The company plans to make it available by 2018.
The cancer-detecting gum won't be found in local stores, but it's slated to come in tasty flavors.
An estimated 1.5 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2016, according to the National Cancer Institute.