Dog is better than medical tests at discovering early-stage cancer
If you want an early warning system that alerts you when you are just starting to develop cancer, get yourself a dog.
Dogs can accurately sniff out the early signs of bowel and prostate cancers, as two separate studies have found.
In the first, dogs successfully sniffed out early signs of bowel cancer from breath and stool samples. A trained Labrador successfully sniffed out cancer from 36 out of 37 breath tests and 37 out of 38 stool tests – achieving an accuracy rate of 95 per cent and 98 per cent respectively, which is far higher than can be achieved by any medical screening.
In a separate study, a Belgian Malinois shepherd correctly identified early signs of prostate cancer in 30 out of 33 urine samples, achieving a success rate of 91 per cent.
(Sources: Gut, January 31, 2011; doi: 10.1136/gut.2010.218305 – bowel cancer; European Urology, 2011; 59: 197 – prostate cancer).