Did you know that some dogs can detect cancer, and sometimes they are even more accurate than scientific equipment? This was first tested with lung cancer via breath samples. It seems there’s a direct connection.
Actually, dogs are ninety-nine percent accurate in detecting lung cancer in this way. They also can detect breast cancer at eighty-eight percent. The next cancer that researchers are trying to see if dogs can detect will be ovarian cancer.
Some dogs really enjoy this type of work, so the researchers who test and train them have to weigh down the sample boxes. Breath samples are put into identical boxes, and then the dogs are brought in to sniff them to see which is the sample of someone with cancer.
Who thought up this unusual means for testing? Michael McCulloch is the researcher currently working on this project. He’s with the Pine Street Foundation, and is conducting the experiments in partnership with the University of Maine. He has tested four different dogs, and each had to accurately identify a correct sample thirty times.
You may be thinking, this is kind of strange, why bother? The thing is, dogs can detect cancers very early, and early detection is key to survival. At present, the survival rate for ovarian cancer is only five years. The earlier they catch ovarian cancer the better your chances of survival. Unfortunately, women don’t have many symptoms of ovarian cancer until it has progressed and is hard to treat.
Sometimes medical tests can detect this cancer early enough, but this is not always the case. The earlier this cancer is caught the better, so if dogs can detect it quickly this helps patients be successfully treated.
Also some breast cancers can be aggressive. This means they grow fast. Mammograms are helpful and can find tumors that are smaller than we can find in a breast self-exam, but they aren’t foolproof. It would be best to be able to detect the cancer before it would show up on a mammogram. Lung cancer is also best caught very early.
Don’t fall for hype of herbal remedies or cures for cancer, these don’t actually exist. There may be herbs that can help you, and can be used together with traditional treatment, but you need to discuss this with your doctor. Always tell your oncologist and doctor what herbs you are considering before you start taking them, because some herbs can interact with chemotherapy.