US scientists claim to have created a handheld device which can detect cancerous tissue in 10 seconds.
The technology, called the MasSpec Pen, monitors the active metabolism of cancer cells, according to researchers from the University of Texas.
Because tumours and other such formations are created because of rapid expansion of cells, it can be detected separately to regular tissue.
The pen takes advantage of this by producing a water droplet to collect cells from the tissue, which is then sucked back into it.
This is then examined with a mass spectrometer and a chemical imprint of the tissue is created, which doctors can use to make a diagnosis.
The researchers claim the pen could be used in surgery to more precisely detect cancerous tissue and reduce the possibility of leaving any behind, which might grow into another tumour.