New specialist services could be introduced in the future that help doctors to detect lung cancer early.
Prescreening using a newly developed optical technology that examines cells from the lining of the mouth has been pioneered by researchers at Northwestern University and NorthShore University HealthSystem.
A paper published in the journal Cancer Research later this month will reveal how the partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) test could be used to detect colon and pancreatic cancers.
Commenting on the results of initial tests, developer of the technique professor Vadim Backman described PWS as a "paradigm shift" in cancer research.
He said: "PWS measures the disorder strength of the nanoscale organisation of the cell, which we have determined to be one of the earliest signs of carcinogenesis and a strong marker for the presence of cancer in the organ."
Meanwhile, recent research presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference, held in May, suggested that risks for the disease are particularly high for those that have undergone heart and liver transplants.
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