Dogs can help in Cancer Detection
Italian research team has found 90% accuracy in the indicators given by a dog in detection of ovarian cancer tissue. The study presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Florida suggests that dogs can sniff certain types of cancers including prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.
Two specially trained dogs were able to detect cancer cells in urine with an accuracy of 98%, as per a team of researchers from Italy. Study lead Dr. Gianluigi Taverna, a researcher with Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan said, “With our study, we have demonstrated that the use of dogs might represent in the future a real clinical opportunity if used together with common diagnostic tools.”
Two trained dogs were used by the research team to analyze urine samples of 677 individuals. The study group included 320 men suffering from prostate cancer. In some patients, the tumors were low risk while in others, there were widespread cancer cells to other organs as well.
The urine of prostate cancer patients includes some volatile organic compounds which evaporate into the air. The smell can be detected by dogs, once they are trained to do so. One dog had 89.9 percent accuracy while the second had 97.3 percent accurate results.
Past researchers have claimed that dogs have the ability to sniff other cancers as well. Dogs can also indentify lung cancer patients from the breath, as per recent research carried out by University of California, San Francisco.
Research team said that dogs can be used as an early warning. Health experts have voiced their concern in recent times that prostate cancer is over diagnosed and over treated. Many times, the patient dies from some other health issues and not prostate cancer as it develops mainly during late age.
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