image via BBC News
According to researchers at the Monell Center in Philadelphia, PA, basal cell carcinoma can be identified through odors from the skin.
Researchers studied profiles of 11 patients with skin cancer and in 11 healthy male and females, ranging in various ages. They found a different profile of chemical compounds in the 11 patients compared to the healthy subjects.
The profiles showed the same chemicals in each person, but the difference was in the amounts of specific chemicals.
"Our findings may someday allow doctors to screen for and diagnose skin cancers at very early stages," said Michelle Gallagher, PhD.
A previous study was done on 25 healthy male and female subjects and a sample of the air above their skin was taken. They identified almost 100 different chemical compounds coming from skin, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques.
These two studies may help bring a development of new methods to analyze skin for signs of altered health status.
With a better understanding of chemicals related to skin odor, this could also lead to the development of more anti-aging skin care products.
These findings were presented at the 236th meeting of the American Chemical Society and this new research may help discover new methods in detecting basal cell carcinoma and other forms of skin cancer.
Source: Monell press release (PDF)