Will Sniff Out Cancer for Dog Biscuits

By Susan Aiello • Published: July 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

The power of the canine nose can be used to detect everything from drugs to explosives to victims trapped in rubble. Now the medical community is turning these super sniffers loose on cancer.

A dog’s nose, which is about one-million times more sensitive than a human’s, can be trained to detect the subtle aroma of waste products produced by cancer cells. Early studies showed that dogs could detect skin malignancies just by sniffing them, and they can even nose out the scent of breast or lung cancer on people’s breath.

Recently, a dog in Japan was able to detect the scent of colon cancer with nearly one-hundred-percent accuracy. That’s about two to three times better than current screening tests.

Dogs can also detect cancer in the early stages, when it is easiest to treat. Not bad when you consider that they’ll work for kibble.