Terahertz waves are sensitive to differences in biological tissue hydration, we present promising results regarding the feasibility of applying this with terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and imaging for early detection of cancer through the characterisation of human gastrointestinal tissue with cancer-affected regions. To do that, healthy (normal) and carcinoma-affected gastric tissue samples at different stages were measured using transmission terahertz time-domain spectroscopy in the frequency range of 0.15–2.00 THz. Absorption coefficients and refractive index spectra of both normal and carcinoma-affected tissue were extracted and analysed. The results confirm that the techniques may be powerful tools to perform qualitative, early diagnosis of human cancer.
Keywords: gastrointestinal tract, gastric carcinoma, tumour staging, terahertz waves, terahertz spectroscopy and imaging