News Karnataka
Saturday, August 13 2022
Health & Lifestyle

Dogs can detect Prostate Cancer – Studies

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May 21: The canine strong sense of smell has proven to be useful in military and is now proving useful in medical arenas. Studies being done on the ability of dogs to sniff out prostate cancer are still ongoing but the preliminary results are quite promising. With this new study detection of prostate cancer will be less painful on the patients.

Study which was done on 677 candidates, 350 of which were prostate cancer patients resulted in 98% accuracy  in detecting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) produced by prostate tumors in urine samples. The study involved the training of two dogs to detect VOC’s produced by prostate tumors in urine. One of the dogs detected the VOC’s with accuracy of 98.9% and the second dog detected them with accuracy of 97.3%. Dogs have about 220 million olfactory cells that make them better poised to detect VOC’s emitted by cancer causing tumors.

The success of this study will be fundamental in the early detection of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer does not exhibit symptoms in the early stages; hence such quick detection method together with other common diagnostic tools would be fundamental in early detection.

In a different study done at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine last year, the researchers successfully trained German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers to detect ovarian cancer in tissue samples. The trained dogs were able to detect ovarian cancer in over 90% of the tissue samples.

This study opens up many avenues in the field of cancer detection. VOC’s have also been detected in the breath of patients with colon and lung cancer which shows that many avenues are opening up. Researchers are now looking into ways to develop and electric nose with equal sensitivity to that of a dog’s nose to ease detection of cancer.

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