Skin Cancer Carries Its Own Scent

"In terms of this replacing the standard method we have of diagnosing skin cancer, which is basically to look at a specimen under the microscope, it's hard to imagine this would do it completely," he said. "Because when you're dealing with cancer, the margin for error is really small. You don't want to miss something that may be a cancer that then doesn't get treated. And you don't want to treat someone for cancer if they actually have something else. So, it's really a very novel and interesting idea but one which I think really needs to be further researched and carefully confirmed."

More information

For details on skin cancer diagnosis, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Michelle Gallagher, Ph.D., senior scientist and analytical chemist, Rohm and Haas, Philadelphia; Jean-Claude Bystryn, M.D., professor, dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, and former head, melanoma program and vaccine clinic, New York University Medical Center, New York City; Aug. 20, 2008, presentation, American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia

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