Research published in Gut has shown that dogs are able to detect colon cancer from stool or breath samples, even when the disease is in its early stages.
The findings suggest that cancerous cells release specific chemicals, for which highly sensitive, non-ininvasive screening tests could be devised.
Dogs are also able to detect a number of other cancers.
An excerpt: (read in full here)
“The study’s findings did not come as a surprise to Otago University’s Randall Allardyce, a senior lecturer specialising in colon cancer, who said scientists were already aware of the potential for animals to detect genetic changes in other animals.
“However, the latest research pointed towards a future bowel cancer screening test that could be more sensitive and specific, Dr Allardyce told NZPA.
“Another bowel cancer expert, Trevor Lockett, said it was a “fascinating” study as most non-invasive tests for bowel cancer detected the later stage of the disease far more efficiently.
“”But detection of early stage cancers is the real holy grail in bowel cancer diagnosis because surgery can cure up to 90 per cent of patients who present with early stage disease,” he said.”