New studies that test dogs’ skills to sniff cancer in patients show that a Labrador retriever could detect cancer as a laboratory.
Another study found that trained dogs could detect prostate cancer in urine with 98% precision.
Two German shepherds were trained at the Italian Ministry of Defense’s Military Veterinary Center using reinforcement to recognize prostate cancer. The 3-year old dogs analyzed more than 400 urine samples. The one dog detected prostate cancer with 100% accuracy, while the other dog had 98.6% accuracy.
However, dogs can sniff out other types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, colon, bladder, skin and lung cancer, usually by smelling breath samples.
When having cancer, the body releases particular organic compounds that dogs can smell and people cannot. Scientists hope this will help them one day to develop an electronic nose that can detect cancer as dogs’ nose can.
Dog’s sense of smell is up to a million times better that human’s.
Many dog owners say that their pets persistently sniff or nudge an area on their body that later was proved to have a tumor. Maureen Burns has a 9 year old collie mix named Max. Her dog started to act strangely and insistently sniff her breast and back off with a sad look in his eyes.
Maureen had a small breast lump, but her mammogram showed to be clear. Her dog’s peculiar behavior persisted, so Maureen went to the doctor again and asked for a biopsy. Doctors were amazed when the results showed the lump was cancerous.
Another story has Claire, an animal behavioural psychologist. She was convinced that animals could sense abnormal cancer cells through smells emitted by the skin, urine or even in the breath. Her dog Daisy, a cocker spaniel, even saved her life. Daisy was pawing at her chest and bumped against her body repeatedly. After a few days, Clair noticed a lump in her breast.
Gillian Lacey has a Dalmatian named Trudii, who helped her diagnose her skin cancer. The dog became disturbed about a mole that appeared on her owner’s right leg while on holiday when she was 19. Trudii kept sniffing it, then licking and nibbling it. Her strange behaviour continued for eight months. Two weeks later Gillian was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma.
Amazing but true stories! Dogs know when people have cancer before they do!