Cancer-detecting dogs

Source: Paul167, Wikimedia Commons
At the June 2010 meeting of the American Urological Association in San Francisco, two French researchers presented results from a year they spent training a Belgian Malinois shepherd to sniff out prostate cancer. The dog successfully classified 63 out of 66 urine samples. Some believe the dog picked up on subconscious cues from the investigators. Others feel that dogs simply smell what humans cannot.

The dog nose has 220 million olfactory receptors compared to human’s mere 5 million, making their sense of smell a thousand times more sensitive to odor molecules. Identifying the "cancer" molecule dogs pick up on will allow improved testing, beyond PSA.

Read more about the background of using dogs to sniff out prostate cancer.

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