Lung cancer
Growth shown on the left side of the lung (wiki commons)

Two NHS hospitals are to trial a "breathalyser" that can detect lung cancer at its early stages, as part of a £1m clinical trial.

If successful, the new devise will be rolled out nationwide in the next two years.

The lung cancer indicator detection (LuCID) analyses the chemicals in a person's breathe to form a diagnosis.

Lung cancer produces unique chemical traces that the LuCID is able to detect. The traces can appear long before symptoms arise, meaning that it could drastically boost the patients chance of survival.

The device was developed originally to detect explosives, but it was tweaked by its inventor, Billy Boyle, after his wife, Kate Gross, passed away from colon cancer on Christmas Day, aged 36, following a two year battle for her life.

"The great thing is the technology exists today," Boyle told Sky News.

"We already have the microchip, we're working on small handheld devices in (a) GP's office. It's important to get the clinical evidence first. But we think we can have systems available, proven, within the next two years.

"And our goal is to save the NHS £245m - but more importantly to save 10,000 lives."

"Me and my wife talked about different applications of Owlstone's [the company Boyle founded] technology.

"We spent many years sitting in cancer wards in Addenbroke's in Cambridge and down in London and you see a lot of people there.

"And they're there because the disease is detected too late. So early detection means that you will have fewer people sitting in those waiting rooms.

"Because of the experience of my wife and my family, we saw the devastation that cancer brings to families, in the various hospitals that we've been.

"You develop technologies for a reason. Sometimes it's for monetary gain. Other times it's to make a difference. And I think we have a real opportunity to try and improve the lives of patients."

According to Cancer Research, lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the UK. In 2011, there were 43,463 new cases in the country.