Dogs are magnificent creatures. They comfort us when we’re sick, stand by us when we’re blue, and protect our homes from intruders. That’s not where their greatness ends, however. New studies show that dogs are able to be trained to sniff out cancer in humans. So now a man’s best friend may even be able to save his life.
A dog’s sense of smell is extremely keen. So keen, in fact, that it’s approximately 10,000 to 100,000 times better than a human’s sense of smell. Studies have shown that they are able to use this amazing ability to smell cancer in the breath and urine of cancer patients. Cancer cells give off a different metabolic waste product, and that’s how dogs are able to distinguish between a cancerous cell and a healthy cell.
The idea of using dogs to sniff out cancer has often been a topic of discussion throughout the years. Now scientists are actually putting that idea to the test, and they’re seeing astonishing results. Most of the dogs that went through training were able to identify cancer patients with anywhere between 54 and 98 percent accuracy. The dogs are able to identify breast and lung cancer patients simply by smelling their breath. They are also training dogs to identify prostate cancer by smelling the patient’s urine. Another giant breakthrough scientists have discovered is that these cancer smelling canines are able to sniff out malignant melanoma. With skin cancer being so prominent right now, this will more than likely save thousands of lives. Studies show that dogs can smell cancer in patients even in its earliest stages. Early detection is crucial when dealing with this deadly disease. When cancer is caught early, it can normally be treated before it spreads to the rest of the body, thus saving the patient’s life.
More than likely, the idea of dogs being used for cancer detection will have its critics. All good ideas have their fair share of skepticism. Granted, it does seem like a far-fetched idea. However, given the dog’s biological abilities, this theory makes a lot of sense. So, don’t be surprised if you see that your doctor has a new companion at your next office visit. There are already discussions about doctor’s using dogs in their offices as part of their routines. This would be a great change of pace for the doctor’s office. Instead of patients being nervous about their visit, they can be comforted by the playful pooches. Most dogs have a way of calming people down, whether it’s because of their unconditional love or their wet sloppy kisses. People should welcome this new idea, and be open to the possibilities of the canine sense of smell. Now that special dog that’s viewed as a best friend and family member will add to his list of responsibilities. Not only will he be responsible for making you happy and playing fetch with you, he’ll be responsible for saving you from what could potentially be a deadly disease.