The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Can dogs sniff out cancer?  (Read 2474 times)

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
Can dogs sniff out cancer?
« on: 23/11/2011 12:57:17 »
Ia there any truth to dogs being able to 'sniff out cancer'? If so can you explain the science and the implications?
Asked by Tyler Ramage, via Facebook


                                        Visit the webpage for the podcast in which this question is answered.

 ...or Listen to the Answer or [download as MP3]

« Last Edit: 23/11/2011 12:57:17 by _system »


 

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
Can dogs sniff out cancer?
« Reply #1 on: 23/11/2011 12:57:17 »
We answered this question on the show...



Chris -  Yes, people have done lots of studies on this.  The most recent that I read was a study where they took a whole bunch of dogs and exposed them to the urine of patients who had bladder cancer and every time the dogs smelt that, they were given a treat.  And so, in other words, the dogs associated the smell of the urine from the bladder cancer patient were getting a treat compared with a non-bladder cancer – control.  And they were able to produce dogs which when you put urine in front of them from patients who had known bladder cancer, they would sit down or bark, or do whatever they've been trained to do.  And when they did these trials, they found one patient who was supposed to be in the control group who consistently, the dogs all picked, and said this person has bladder cancer.  In fact, when they imaged that person, they had a covert renal cancer that was at a very early stage and the person’s life was saved because they then went in and did it.   They're now developing this technology and in fact, generating e-noses with the aim of sniffing out lung cancers and other things like that because cancers do change your metabolism and therefore the smell of your body and so this can be detected, and dogs just have the very sensitive nose for doing it. 
« Last Edit: 23/11/2011 12:57:17 by _system »
 

Guest

  • Guest
None
« Reply #2 on: 15/09/2015 21:18:21 »
What if the dogs aren't trained to do this? Can a dog that's just  normal, untrained to sniff out cancer still detect cancer?
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

None
« Reply #2 on: 15/09/2015 21:18:21 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums