Dogs Detecting Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death throughout the world and a lot of people are losing their battle to the different types and forms of cancer involving different organ systems. Cancer has become one of the biggest scares among humans, though with the technical advancements, the medical science has been able to provide cure with earlier diagnosis and proper treatment and management of the individual suffering from cancer. But still there are a lot of people in whom the cancers are not being diagnosed at an early stage.

The most common cancers that cost people their lives are the lung cancers, cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, cancers involving the reproductive organs etc. The number of the patients reported with cancers have been growing at a very fast pace and a lot of people are being reported to have cancer throughout the world and it is from where the battle starts between life and death.

Cancer has become one of the biggest financial burden on the governments, because billions of dollars are being spent on the tests to diagnose cancers, as well as very expensive therapies that are being given to treat the cancer, but it is still not known whether the cancer would be manageable because the cure largely depends on when the cancer is being diagnosed. The physicians ask their patients to get an annual examination so that they can order the tests to check whether there are any findings to suggest any abnormal behavior in the cells such as Pap tests are being conducted on an annual basis to detect any changes in the cervix so as to diagnose the development of cancer at initial stages.

Still after doing so much there are still a lot of cases that are being reported at a very late stage and a lot of people are dying from this horrifying disease process and thus it becomes a big threat to a lot of people around the world. In these clouds of hopelessness there is a ray of hope that has emerged. According to a new study it is being shown that dogs can sniff out the cancer through the breath samples of individuals. This is a very latest advancement in terms of determining whether the individuals are suffering from cancer or not. The dogs have an extraordinary power of smell and they are being known for it through centuries and they are being trained for the purpose of sniffing out the cancer in individuals. A program that I saw on TV showed that the dogs are being made to sniff the breath sample of a normal individual and then the breath sample of an individual who was suffering from cancer.

With the two breath samples, the dog clearly distinguished as to which breath sample was abnormal and it yapped when it was being made to sniff. It is also being said that the dogs have the ability to sniff out the breast and lung cancer at very early stages. I know that most of you would be thinking that is it really true that could it be so simple that you give a breath sample and the dog is just going to sniff out whether you have the cancer or not. Well my answer would be yes, it is tested and proven now that the dog can sniff out the cancer. This information is widely out in the media and has been named as a big breakthrough of the century in terms of diagnosing cancer at very early stages. I know it is a bit surprising for people, it did to me too, but I saw it as to how the breath samples were being collected and the dogs were made to sniff them and they yapped when they sniffed the abnormal breath samples of individuals who had the cancer.

There are still a lot of questions that must be crossing the mind. This process of using the dogs to sniff out cancer started when the owner of a dog was being warned by his dog who was constantly sniffing out his melanoma lesion and thus the owner was being screened and was told that he is suffering from melanoma. It is a really interesting avenue that has been opened up to diagnose the different cancers that people suffer through. Another interesting thing to note here is that the dogs were being trained and they successfully sniffed out the bladder cancer as well as melanomas.

A study was conducted in which the breath samples of individuals who have been recently diagnosed with cancer were being obtained in special tubes and then these tubes were being placed at specific distances. There were also special tubes containing breath samples of individuals who were normal. The dogs who took part in the study were being trained for approximately three weeks before this study was conducted and they were not any special dogs but ordinary pets who went through the training. These dogs were being trained to sniff and indicate which of the test tubes had samples of cancer patients. It was already known by the researchers as to which test tubes had the normal samples and which ones were abnormal. The dogs sniffed out the tubes with about a percentage of between 88 to 97 percent both with sensitivity and specificity. This is something amazing. The dogs after sniffing the normal breath samples ignored it and indicated only to the abnormal breath samples.

I believe that this is a huge breakthrough and that it can result in early diagnosis of cancer and can save millions of lives throughout the world. These studies were conducted in England and America and I am hopeful that other nations will work on training the dogs for early detection of cancer as this can change the face of diagnosing cancer patients at very early stages.


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