Non-small cell lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer among patients in the United States. Early diagnosis is crucial for timely treatment of this deadly disease. Researchers are continuously working in finding out some effective ways for diagnosing lung cancer. A new study has found that the dogs’ superior sniffing skills can be used to accurate detect lung cancer utilizing their sense of smell.
Dogs have an extreme sense for smell and one new study has found out that they can successfully sniff out lung cancer with extremely high accuracy of 97%. In a new study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, the researchers explain, “The olfactory acuity of a dog is at least 10,000 times more sensitive than that of a human, which is likely due to their more expansive olfactory epithelium and olfactory receptors and their ability to retain air in their nasopharynx during exhalation.”
Researchers have trained dogs to sniff out non-small cell lung cancer in blood samples. They have chosen beagles as they are scent hounds, dogs that people traditionally bred to chase animals during hunting. They trained beagles for eight weeks and called upon three beagles to correctly distinguish between blood samples collected from patients having non-small cell lung cancer and a set of blood samples of healthy people. The dogs successfully made distinguish between the two types of samples with 97% accuracy.
The researchers are also completing a study testing the ability of dogs to identify other types of cancers as well such as colorectal cancer, breast cancer etc. Researchers said that this study could be the first step towards detecting lung cancer at an early stage.
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