Bicarbonate ‘could detect cancer’

clipped from news.bbc.co.uk

Bicarbonate ‘could detect cancer’

The naturally-occurring chemical bicarbonate, used to make baking soda, could help detect cancer using sensitive scanning, research suggests.

Bicarbonate is involved in the body’s balancing of acid and alkali.

But cancerous tissue is known to turn it into carbon dioxide.

Almost all cancer has a lower pH, meaning it is more acidic than surrounding tissue.

Currently, there is no way to safely measure differences in pH in patients, but spotting these areas of acidity could be used to find cancers when they are very small.

“So if clinical trials show that this technique is as safe and effective in cancer patients as we expect, this could be a very useful tool in the early detection of cancer and may save many lives.”

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