Sniffing Out Cancer
Originally published February 4th, 2007
Our canine companions have long assisted us in the fields of search and rescue, drug detection and police work among other vocations. Now it appears that man’s best friend may be breaking into the field of medicine as well. Recent studies show that some dogs have a knack for sniffing out cancer.
The Pine Street Foundation has been pioneering research into early cancer diagnosis using canine scent detection. According to the foundation, “In a study of 86 people (55 with lung cancer and 31 with breast cancer), five professionally trained scent dogs accurately distinguished between breath samples from diseased patients and those from 83 healthy controls. The dogs’ ability to correctly identify or rule-out lung and breast cancer, at both early and late stages, was around 90%.”
An interesting article in National Geographic entitled Dogs Smell Cancer in Patients’ Breath details the compelling evidence behind recent studies.