Dogs’ Scent Can Detect Cancer

Dogs Have Sense of Smell 100,000 Times Stronger Than Humans

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Two remarkable dogs are using their snouts to save lives.

Their sense of smell is so strong experts say they can detect cancer.

Something unusual and innovative is happening at U.S. Davis’ Cancer Center.

“Two of our youngest professors in the department, professor Alfie and professor Charlie,” said Hilary Brodie, with U.S. Davis Department of Otolaryngology.

“Their sense of smell is up to 100,000 times stronger than what you and I smell,” said Peter Belafsky, professor of Otolaryngology.

Doctors at U.S. Davis Medical Center believe German shepherd Charlie and labradoodle Alfie will advance medicine by detecting cancer in early stages.

“The dogs are very, very good at telling you not only is this a lump, but it is cancer or it’s a lump and it’s not cancer,” said Dina Zaphiris, a canine training expert.

Zaphiris will spend the next 18 months training the pair of puppies to identify throat and neck cancer in saliva, breath and urine.

She’s been doing this work for over a decade.

“In published studies – not only from my research – but studies from all over the world, the dogs are accurate, more accurate than any machine or diagnostic device to date. More accurate and they can find it at early stage,” said Zaphiris.

Zaphiris chose Alfie and Charlie not just because of their noses, but also their drive and motivation.

“Our goal is not to train them to do this, but to actually use them as a tool to save lives in the community,” said Belafsky.

Doctors hope the dogs will start officially sniffing out cancer in patients by 2018.

If all goes as planned, man’s best friend will soon detect cancer better and earlier than any machine can.
 

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