Dogs trained to smell human cancer

Man’s best friend, will become man’s best diagnostic tool, detecting cancer in their owners, and other people. There ability is more effective then conventional scientific equipment and least expensive A dog’s ability to smell odors, can be trained to smell chemicals that are emitted in urine (example), by cancer cells. Odor from cancer cells can be detected, in very small quantities. Bladder cancer is the ninth most common cancer worldwide, diagnosed in 330,000 new cases a year, and more then 130,000 deaths. Also, a dog can smell a person’s breath, detecting any development of lung cancer. Canine’s sense of smell is generally 10,000 to 100,000 times greater, than humans, because dogs have greater number of neurons, that act like smelling receptors to the brain.


Recent ’60 Minutes’ Show (June 2005), with correspondent Morely Safer, made arrangements with dog trainer Andy Cook, at the Hearing-Aid Dog Center near Amersham, England. Conduct a test, to see if a cocker spaniel, can detect a cancerous urine sample, from a patient diagnosed with bladder cancer. Six other samples, where included, from patients with other diseases, and healthy patients. The test conclusively showed, cocker spaniel was able to detect the cancerous sample twice.

March 2004, Debbie Marvit -McGlothin, learned she was pregnant, and soon afterwards, her dog, a two year old shepherd-hound mix, began to sniff a tiny mole on the back of her leg. The dog was persistent, licking, biting and scratching the mole. Her doctor took, biopsy of the mole, from her skin. Laboratory results proved, the mole was melanoma, the most severe type of skin cancer. The remaining area around the mole was later removed, and she was clear of cancer. Another case study, in 2001, man had for 18 years, eczema on his leg. His pet Labrador started persistently sniffing this area of skin, and whenever, he was wearing trousers. His doctor examined this area, and diagnosed he had a tumor. Subsequently, tumor was removed. Afterwards, his dog stopped the attention on his leg.

Dr. Armand Cognetta, dermatologist at a clinic in Tallahassee Florida, worked with police department dog trainer. Objectively, train a dog to locate, and retrieve tissue samples of melanoma, which where stored in doctor’s laboratory. Result of the study showed, dog was able to find and retrieve these samples, 100 percent of the time. Dr. Cognetta had the dog, smell suspected areas of cancer on patients. The dog was nearly 100 percent accurate, detecting cancerous skin lesions, in tested patients.

Dogtor Dogs (Dogtor Dogs: HC 77 Box 240, Altamont, TN 37301), a nonprofit organization kennel that specializes, in training dogs to find human cancer. Including, detecting for lung cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. Takes two years to fully train a dog, from ten weeks of age. A trained dog can screen over 11, 500 people in a lifetime.

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