Trained dogs have displayed accuracy up to 93% in detecting early signs of prostate cancer in the urine samples and poop of humans, according to Medical Detection Dog.
Dogs are known to possess a very strong sense of smell, with more than 300 million odour receptors in their nos. They can perceive dangers which we easily miss, including cancer.
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From the reports, the canines are being trained by sniffing close to 2000 urine and stool samples taken from a hospital in the North of England.
The charity that trains the dogs, Medical Detection Dogs, reportedly said, “if our trial shows dogs can detect colorectal cancer in urine samples, the potential is there for a quick, non-invasive test, which could encourage far higher rates of testing and therefore early diagnosis and treatment.”
Volunteers who are both sick and healthy are being taken to give their samples on board at the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital in order to test the ability of the dogs.
The current method of screening is invasive, and it’s one of the main reasons why only 60% of those who can undergo the screening procedure actually do so. According to health experts, the discomfort caused by traditional procedures is the reason for low attendance.
For colorectal cancer testing, the patient has to undergo an invasive and painful procedure that includes insertion of a camera into the anus that looks for the presence of a cancerous tumour.
This new method of detection seems very comfortable considering the painful diagnosis.