Breath Test Device Detects Bacterial Infection That Could Lead to Stomach Cancer
Hattiesburg Clinic Gastroenterology now has a device to test for a common bacterial infection that is a risk factor for stomach cancer.
The BreathTek® UBT Kit is a convenient, quick, non-invasive test used to detect Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori), a common, persistent infection that could lead to stomach symptoms. H. pylori can live in the stomach for many years. The infection affects two-thirds of the world’s population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE PATIENT?
When the bacteria lodge in the stomach lining, they start to produce substances that thin and weaken the protective mucus. This allows gastric acid to reach the stomach’s wall and cause damage. Ulcers can develop in the exposed lining as a result.
H. pylori can also attach to the stomach’s cells. This sometimes results in issues like stomach inflammation (gastritis) or excess acid production.
Symptoms of H.pylori infection include:
- Upper abdominal pain
- Gnawing pain
- Loss of appetite
- Bad breath
The National Cancer Institute says clinical studies have linked H. pylori infection with an increased risk of developing certain stomach cancers.
HOW DOES THE BREATHTEK WORK?
Testing with the BreathTek® device is quick and simple:
- During an office exam, the patient is asked to provide a baseline breath sample.
- The patient will then be asked to drink a Pranactin®-Citric drug solution, which will help detect signs of H. pylori infection.
- The patient wait 15 minutes.
- Then, the patient will provide a second breath sample.
The breath samples will be measured using an in-house diagnostic device called a POCone® Infrared Spectrophotometer. Results are available within a few minutes and the physician will discuss them with the patient at that time. If the patient tests positive for H. pylori infection, they will be treated with antibiotics and will be asked to return for testing again in four weeks.
Do you or someone you know suffer from persistent stomach issues? Call Hattiesburg Clinic Gastroenterology at (601) 268-5680 for information on how to make a referral.
About Hattiesburg Clinic Gastroenterology
The Gastroenterology department at Hattiesburg Clinic offers clinical services to evaluate diseases of the intestinal tract, liver and pancreas. Some of the conditions they treat include esophageal disease, peptic ulcer disease, gallstone disease, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis and cirrhosis. They use a combination of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures for treatment and screening. Gastroenterology is located on the fifth floor of Hattiesburg Clinic’s main facility, at 415 S. 28th Ave. in Hattiesburg.