Breast cancer, also known as Carsinoma mammae, is a type of cancer that can affect both men and women. It originates in the milk glands, fatty tissue, and connective tissues. The 2020 report by Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN) records over 600,000 deaths and 2 million new cases, proving that this cancer remains potentially lethal, particularly for women. In Indonesia, it has been recognized as the leading cancer case and second to lung cancer in terms of cancer-related deaths, with 65,000 new cases being detected in the same year. It is estimated to increase to 200,000 within the past five years. Early detection is, therefore, crucial to anticipate new cases, allow proper treatment, and minimize mortality.
Early breast cancer detection methods include mammography, breast ultrasound, MRI, PET scan, and biopsy. However, many sufferers express discomfort and embarrassment about these methods, in addition to their substantial cost, leaving room for improvements in terms of simplicity, practicality, effectiveness, and accuracy. Enter “Breath Analyzer Kits”: a breath analyzer with a Fusion Sensor system that integrates several smell detection tools intended to detect, identify, and analyze both simple and complex smells in addition to volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Cancer cells influence the abundance of VOC compounds in a patient’s breath. Considering that chemical analysis of a patient’s breath has been a known method to detect various types of cancer, a team of researchers from the Universitas Sumatera Utara, led by Dr. Zikri Noer S.Si, M.Si, along with members Oki Gunawan Harahap, A.Md., Awwa Chaga Qambara Taqwa, Dhuha Annisa Haque, Disty Ratna Marisya, David Kevin Handel Hutabarat, Misuki Awanda, and Ikhwanuddin, S.Si, M.Si, developed this innovative Fusion Sensor technology for real-time early detection of breast cancer by measuring the concentration of formaldehyde in exhaled breath.
The standard amount of formaldehyde (H2CO) in a healthy person’s breath ranges from 0.3 – 0.6 ppm, compared to a breast cancer patient’s 0.45 – 1.2 ppm. The Fusion Sensor picks up the formaldehyde compound using the iontophoresis in situ method, which analyzes the accumulated VOC in exhaled breath. The gas blown into the Sensor is ionized, causing changes in resistivity and generating distinct potential patterns from the TGS813, TGS822, TGS2600, and TGS2602 sensors. By using Arduino, the electrical signal generated from the potential difference in the pattern is then transformed into digital data. With its practicality, effective, and accurate early detection features, the Breath Analyzer Kit with Fusion Sensor system is innovative as a portable medical check-up technology.