December 6, 2012
Cancer-sniffing Dogs Studied To Help Diagnose Cancer
[ Watch the Video: Trained Dogs Can Sniff Out Cancer ]
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe OnlineA new study suggests that a doctor´s visit may not be all that necessary when trying to determine whether you have lung cancer, just ask your pet pooch.
Austrian researchers found that dogs are pretty good at being able to sniff out lung cancer, lending hope towards early diagnosis.
Peter Errhalt, head of the pulmonology department at Krems hospital in northern Austria, one of the authors of the study, mentioned that dogs have no problem with identifying tumor patients.
During the study, Errhalt said dogs achieved a 70-percent success rate in identifying cancer from 120 breath samples.
The results are on par with a study by German scientists in 2011, who looked into why canines act strange around cancer sufferers.
With the new study, scientists hope to identify what dogs are detecting, Michael Mueller from the Otto Wagner Hospital in Vienna, who collaborated on the pilot project told France 24.
The results from the study could help scientists reproduce in the long term an "electronic nose" that could help diagnose lung cancer in the early stages. Ultimately, this study could lead to improving cancer survival rates through early diagnosis.
Scientists from the two-year study are now planning to extend the study, making it 10 times larger than the original.
In 2009, redOrbit reported about canines that were able to warn diabetic owners when their blood sugar levels started to drop. During this study, researchers found that 65 percent of people with insulin-dependent diabetes reported that their pets reacted to a hypoglycemic episode by whining, barking, licking or some other display.