Can sniffer dog detection take the place of traditional prostate cancer screening like immunized human antibody library? It is still too early to draw a conclusion at present. Nobody knows how this sniffer dog detection technology can be applied to clinical use, or whether it can be widely promoted. However, researchers believe that this detection can be utilized as a “second line of defense” at least. After the patients have the first prostate specific antigen test, sniffer dog detection can improve the accuracy of cancer screening.
Researchers found that dogs can smell out different cancers, such as lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and so on.
In addition to the odor of malignancy in urine, dogs can even sniff the special smell in the breath of cancer patients.
Can an untrained dog take the job?
No existing researches have been made yet.
Typically, a sniffer dog has to go through a six-month of training before it can take the job as a reliable “professional cancer detector.” At the beginning of the training, these dogs will be awarded for sniffing any kind of odor in the urine samples. Later on, they will be awarded only when they sniff the smell of tumors or cancers. We now have no related researches about whether untrained dogs can detect cancer yet.
However, Claire Guest, one the founders of “Medical Sniffer Dogs” organization, said that it was her untrained pet dog Daisy first detected her breast cancer. In 2009, Guest found that Daisy often rubbed a certain area of her chest where she always felt pain. Later, she received breast cancer screening, and two tumors were detected.
Guest said that dogs’ nose is more reliable than the existing cancer screening tests. “Their smell is super-sensitive, which can reach up to parts per trillion. That’s equivalent to a drop of water of a swimming pool in the size of two standard Olympic swimming pools. We should not give up these high-precision biodetectors just because of their long fur. “