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cancer colon
chemical signature
colon cancer
test tubes
breath samples
breast cancer
types of cancer
Dogs Smelling Cancer
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The first time that the concept of dogs smelling cancer was identified was around 1989. There have been a few publications that have mentioned it since then but not very much was written about the subject. Then in 2004 and again in 2006 studies were released that showed very promising results. The 2006 report claimed a 99% success rate in lung cancer detection.

It's interesting to think that if you were to develop a disease like lung cancer, your dog might very well know that you have it long before your doctor was able to detect it.

In a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal similar findings have been reported. This latest study is said to be the most sophisticated and detailed of it's kind to date.

In the study, German researchers used Four family dogs to detect the smell of lung cancer. Patients used an instrument to imprint a chemical signature onto cotton swabs in a test tube. The dogs were allowed to sniff the test tubes containing the breath samples. They were trained to lie down and touch their noses to the test tube that smelled like caner. The dogs had a success rate of over 70% in identifying the test tubes that came from lung cancer patients

The researchers also had the dogs attempt to tell the difference between a patient with lung cancer and a patient with lung cancer and COPD. The same or even greater percentage of success was found in identifying COPD as well as lung cancer.

These studies have proven that dogs have the ability to detect several different types of cancer,including breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer as well as COPD. There is also evidence that they can identify type 1 diabetes.

There those that insist that cancer smelling dogs will soon be in the clinical environment taking their place alongside dogs who sniff out bombs and drugs and find missing people. Others think the best use of the canines will be in the laboratory setting.

Don't expect to see a golden lab sitting next to your doctor next time you go see him though. It's going to be a while before researchers figure out exactly what role these cancer smelling dogs will play. A lot more research is needed to help identify specific detectable markers in order to create viable screening methods.

The good news is that dogs smelling cancer is yet another way that mans best friend can be of service to the human race.


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