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New Cancer Detection, Dog Sniffing

Published on February 2, 2009 by in Health


Today I read an interesting article from Bottom Lines Daily Health news. In the article they report a new sniff test for cancer detection. We all know that the dog has a keen sense of smell and can use the power of scent for many purposes. Today they report that the powerful scent detection capabilities of a dog can diagnose assorted types of cancer. The benefit of this of course is to detect the cancers early and at more treatable stages. They have experimented with dogs that can sniff the exhaled breath from people with lung and breast cancers to determine early stages of lung and breast cancer. They have trained mole sniffing dogs to uncover malignant melanoma. Even more amazing is that they can sniff urine and detect bladder cancers. Looks like we don’t need to pay the high cost of research and expensive lab equipment when we have these treatments available at our disposal. The medical teams that have discovered this amazing feat are now trying to devise a “mechanical nose”. Whether delivered by device or dog, the smell test will be one of several detection tools to support and confirm a diagnosis, perhaps, used to identify those who should undergo further testing. The good news is that this technique is far superior to doing biopsies or sophisticated imaging studies. It is a better idea to make a finer discrimination very early in the disease progression. They also claim that the tests can also detect incidence of diabetes. At least for now, the dogs nose used as a diagnostic tool to diagnose early stage cancer. It is promising to be used for detecting skin, lung, bladder, breast, prostate and possibly ovarian cancer.

Maybe this new discovery will lead to other animals that have an even greater keen sense of smell to improve the test to a higher degree. Isn’t technology wonderful!

posted by Rob Mueller

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