Dogs Can Detect Colon Cancer in Early Stages

According to a study published on January 31 in the journal Gut, dogs can detect bowel cancer in the early stages by smelling either the breath or stool of a patient.

These findings, courtesy of tests conducted by Japanese researchers, go a long way in presenting an alternative process of finding colon cancer to the generally accepted methods. While this new study has been well-received, dog-based cancer detection is recognized as being too expense and complicated to work long-term with a large group.

"In the future, studies designed to identify cancer-specific volatile organic compounds will be important for the development of new methods for the early detection of CRC [colorectal cancer]," the researchers wrote.

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer of the large intestine or the lower region of the colon -- otherwise known as colorectal cancer -- is the fourth most common form of the disease found in men and women.

Dogs -- whose noses have long since been recognized as marvelous tools for their ability to sniff various things out -- detecting cancer isn’t as new as one would think. In fact, certain breeds of dogs have already been taught to identify prostate, skin, lung, breast, ovaries and bladder cancer. Usually, these dogs can pick up on the disease simply by catching a sniff of the person’s breath, stool or urine.

This most recent study featured researchers collecting samples from 48 patients who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, 203 people without the disease and 55 people with a history of cancer.

After collecting samples from all of the test subjects, an 8-year-old Labrador retriever sniffed the samples and attempted to sit in front of samples containing cancerous elements.

Researchers found that the dog was 91 percent accurate with cancerous breath samples and 97 percent accurate with cancerous stool samples. Furthermore, the dog ignored 99 percent of the cancer-free breath and stool samples.

While the findings are remarkable and very interesting, the cost of teaching a dog to sniff out cancer in patients is far too time-consuming and expensive. Thus, don’t expect pooches to replace the usual cancer tests any time soon.

More Articles

More Articles

This entry looks at what is sometimes referred to as mesenteric lymphoma, also referred to as non-Hodgkin's...

In T cell lymphoma, T lymphocytes, which are an essential part of the body's immune response, become malignant. T cell lymphomas account for about...

Lymphoma is a cancer affecting the white blood cells (lymphocytes) of the body's immune system. The cells begin to grow abnormally and much faster...

RICE is an acronym for an anti-cancer treatment that expresses a combination chemotherapeutic regimen. This regimen is written variously as "R+ICE...

B cell lymphoma is not one disease but a few dozen heterogeneous diseases, or individual cancers, that affect the b...

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is just one of 50-60 known B-cell subtypes of...

What causes lymphoma is not well known. DNA mutations may be what causes lymphoma to develop but what triggers these mutations is...

A B cell is a type of lymphocyte that produces antibodies to fight infections. These are the most prevalent lymphocytes in the bloodstream and are...

Also known as Hodgkin's disease, Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) is a cancer of the white blood cells, or...

Canine lymphoma, just like lymphoma in humans, can be separated into stages,...

This article looks at the Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma survival rate as well as the Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma mortality rate ....

T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (T-LBL) is a very rare subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It tends to develop in...

It's not uncommon for patients with some lymphomas to experience itching (clinically known as pruritus). Lymphoma itching symptoms can range from...

In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, you have your B-cell lymphomas and you have your T-cell lymphomas.

Why B...