Dogs Helping To Detect Cancer Shows A Different Kind of “Common Scents”

Dogs help to sniff out organic cancer elements.

For millennia, the bond between humans and dogs has been a constant through both our evolutions. Dogs make for valued work and service animals, protectors, companions, and to many, a beloved member of the family. But did you know that dogs are able to detect cancer as well?

Our furry friends really do look out for our best interests due to our symbiotic relationships, and one of the advantages and benefits that they have to offer is the possession of their enhanced senses. A dog’s sense of smell is so advanced, in fact, they are even able to sniff out cancer cells in a person, even during stage zero (known as “in situ”).

A dog’s sense of smell is measured in parts per trillion. Because of this dogs a dog’s sense of smell is equatable to the way we see. This is how they take in the sensory data that they need to in order to process information.

Dogs have a keen understanding that our well-being is in their best interests. We are seen as providers to them, as well as companions in their own pack. If we get sick, their food and shelter advantages are at risk of compromise. Dogs are excellent at detecting injury because they can smell changes in our body. These changes range from more internal injuries such as cuts to internal issues, to which the dog will find and lick. Dogs have even been able to detect breast cancer in their owners by smelling and licking at the affected area. Being able to find and detect the “sick” smell is an important part of a dog’s survival.

Continued research has shown that malignant tissues affected by illnesses such as cancer release chemicals different from normal tissue. Cancer, especially in the later stages such as Stage III or Stage IV, is noted to have a particular smell that people can detect. Dogs are able to smell the scent of cancer much earlier in its inception, from Stage 0, Stage I, or Stage II. For this reason, training dogs to detect cancer is based on the target/reward variable, and work with various samples is important to isolate the cancer scent from the numerous organisms found with human breath.

In addition, by detecting cancer through breath numerous samples, doctors are working to create an alternative breathalyzer type device that recreates a dog’s extraordinary sense of smell. research companies such as the In Situ Foundation have also been established to train medical dogs in this field.

Dogs may be our family’s best friends and protectors, but that protection has extended to ways that modern medicine is still working to learn how to best assist us. To schedule your own cancer screening, contact Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging at (702) 732-6000 or by visiting the SDMI website at – Our quality care is found throughout the Las Vegas and Henderson area in seven locations to best serve our patients, and show that when it comes to compassionate medical care, the choice is “ONLY SDMI”.

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