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12 diseases doctors can actually detect through smell

Many diseases and conditions have their own “breathprint,” and this may soon pave the way for earlier detection and diagnosis.

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Does disease smell?
Does disease smell?
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Many diseases and conditions have their own “breathprint,” and this may soon pave the way for earlier detection and diagnosis.

Body odour can be a sign of more than just someone forgetting to put on their deodorant. Researchers have long known that certain illnesses including cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease cast particular odours, says Alan Hirsch, MD, the Neurological Director of the Smell & Taste Research and Treatment Foundation in Chicago.

While scent tests to diagnose disease are not quite ready for prime time, research is ongoing, says Dr. Hirsch, also the author of several books including Nutrition and Sensation.



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