Dogs can be Trained to Identify the Scent of Lung Cancer. It is a cliché that ‘dogs are the man’s best friends.’ We all are aware of the fact that how smartly and sharply the dogs can smell bombs and drugs for the sake of security.
But did you know?
Dogs can save your life for the near future; they can be trained to identify the odor of lung cancer long before its symptoms develop!
Researchers from the Schillerhoehe Hospital in Germany, claim that dogs, via special training can be made to diagnose the lung cancer before it gets severe.
To make this happen, the very first target of the researchers was to make sure that the dogs can smell Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that are linked with the presence of cancer. So, a study was conducted which could determine whether dogs can smell the cancer symptoms or not.
To carry out the study, mainly German and Australian shepherds and a Labrador retriever were used and given special training for 11-weeks so that they could learn to identify a VOC in the breath of cancer-suffering patients.
The researchers chose 220 volunteers. These volunteers majorly included patients with lung cancer at early and advanced stages, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and healthy volunteers.
The dogs were made to participate in a number of tests to examine if they could easily detect compounds in the breath of lung cancer patients.
After training, the dogs were made to smell glass tubes containing cotton, saturated with samples of breath from the volunteers and the dogs had to lie down if they identified a VOC from a lung cancer patient.
Further, the dogs successfully spotted 71 out of 100 samples with lung cancer. They also correctly perceived 372 out of 400 samples that did not have lung cancer. The researchers say that the study confirms the presence of a constant marker for lung cancer, but the issue is that they are not sure about what it actually is. The dogs have a bulbous obstruction inside the nostrils which increases their sense of smell.
This fascinating power of smelling is found only in dogs. And luckily, it has been channelized in the right direction to diagnose lung cancer which may prove life-saving for us!