Dogs as cancer sleuths

Dogs as cancer sleuths

Even in our technology-driven world, dogs still prove their prowess. Let’s see how that works with cancer — human cancer, that is.

In the United States, lung cancer is the number one cancer killer. Early diagnosis is crucial for patients to have a fighting chance.

But common diagnostic techniques, like CT and PET scans, are costly. Worse yet, results can be inaccurate. So, researchers are studying dogs’ ability to sniff out cancer.

You heard that right. Cancer cells emit infinitesimal odors. Our noses can’t detect them, but a dog’s sense of smell is 10 thousand times greater than ours.

Recently, trained dogs correctly identified blood from patients with lung cancer 97 percent of the time. That’s higher than the most sophisticated imaging methods.

Now, scientists are trying to pinpoint the microscopic clues — with dogs’ help, of course.

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