Sniffer dogs detect lung cancer

Sniffer dogs can be used to reliably detect lung cancer, according to researchers, they found that trained dogs could detect a tumour in 71% of patients. However, scientists do not know which chemical the dogs are detecting, which is what they say they need to know to develop a screening programme.

It was first suggested that dogs could “sniff out” cancer in 1989 and further studies have shown that dogs can detect some cancers such as those of the skin, bladder, bowel and breast. It is thought that tumours produce “volatile chemicals” which a dog can detect. Researchers trained four dogs – two German shepherds, an Australian shepherd and a Labrador – to detect lung cancer. Three groups of patients were tested: 110 healthy people, 60 with lung cancer and 50 with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a narrowing of the airways of the lungs. Read more…

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