Cancer Sniffing Dogs
I have been hearing about dogs that can diagnose cancer for years now. I a recent article I was reading it said that new research shows dogs are almost four times better at detecting prostate cancer than traditional tests.
These amazing animals are referred to as ‘Medical Detection Dogs’ and for most cancers they can accurately detect the disease 90 per cent of the time according to research. The article I had just found was about prostate cancer but It has also previously been shown that dogs can detect other cancers, including bladder, ovarian and breast cancers.
In contrast, traditional PSA tests often give false positives – three in four positive results from the tests turn out to be false and result in unnecessary and invasive tests.
In England, Dr Claire Guest, Chief Executive and Director of Operations at Medical Detection Dogs, a charity that trains these special dogs, said:
‘These results from the detection dogs are remarkable.
She added, ‘Over the years, millions of pounds of NHS funding have been poured into the traditional test methods, and yet there has been little improvement in their reliability. ‘This has caused a huge waste of resources, not to mention the distress to the impacted individuals.
‘Moreover, the detection dogs provide alternative solution that yields consistently accurate results. If our detection dogs were a machine, there would be huge demand for them.
‘Dogs can pick up a scent in a dilution of one to a thousand parts. Their superior smelling power is well known. So why the reluctance to embrace this tested, time-old technology?’
‘MDD’s trained dogs can detect cancer before noticeable symptoms and others have been trained to recognize dangerously low sugar levels in diabetics. In short, this wonderful charity is training dogs to save lives.