Is It True That Dogs Can Smell Cancer?

It is common knowledge that dogs have a particularly strong sense of smell. They can smell scents that the human nose is unable to pick up. It’s the reason that police use dogs when searching suspects for narcotics. And it’s the reason that enforcement teams take bomb-sniffing dogs out when investigating a dangerous area. And many leading researchers are hoping to put the animal’s innate sense of smell to use in medical care. Within this blog, we’ll look at whether dogs truly can smell cancer within people.

Studies Show Dogs Can Succeed in Sniffing Out Cancer

Research, including a new study by the experts at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, has shown that dogs can sniff out cancer cells with exceptional accuracy in humans. The Humanitas Research Hospital study comprised of two German shepherds attempting to identify prostate cancer cells within urine samples from scent alone. During the study, one of the dogs showed an ability to correctly identify cancer cells with 100% accuracy. This figure is far higher than the average detection success rates with other scientific testing methods. The study is an example of the latest research showing dogs have a profound ability to recognize cancer cells.

There is still debate on how the animals detect cancer cells within human samples. However, the general consensus is that dogs have advanced olfactory senses which allow them to identify VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) associated with certain kinds of cancer.

How the Data is Being Used to Save Lives

The latest studies now show that dogs can potentially detect the presence of cancer cells in the human body. These studies show that we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of uncovering the value that dogs can bring to our lives.

They will require comprehensive training to hone their innate sense of smell. But with practice and with the further integration of dogs within medical analysis processes across the country, they could play a high value role in saving the lives of those with cancer. To discover more on this evolving subject, speak with one of our team members today!