Can dogs detect prostate cancer?

Can dogs detect prostate cancer?

You may have heard of dogs sniffing out ovarian cancer. Now new research finds that man’s best friend may be able to detect prostate cancer, too.

Italian researchers from the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, recently presented their study to the American Urological Association in Orlando, Florida. Researchers trained dogs to sniff urine samples affected by prostate cancer. The results were almost perfectly accurate, according to the research.

Healthy and the cancerous urine samples were taken from about 680 people. The prostate cancer urine samples ranged from men of low-risk to high-risk, according to researchers.

Prostate cancer tumors create chemicals that evaporate once colliding with air. According to the study, the scent can be easily detected by dogs.

Researcher Dr. Gianluigi Taverna said, in a statement, that the dogs would be rewarded when they caught the scent of the cancerous urine samples. “Training was a full-time job for the team, who worked five days a week,” Taverna said.

Taverna also mentioned that dogs have very good memory and spotted the cancerous urine samples about 97 percent of the time. One of the dogs demonstrated even more accuracy by almost 99 percent.

Although man’s best friend has been proven to aid in research, this study is still “in the works,” researchers said.

Before considering prostate cancer screening, it is important to do some research of your own. Dr. Tony Hampton, family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group in Chicago, says men should educate themselves on prostate cancer so they can make informed decisions regarding testing.

Dr. Hampton says that your health history is an important attribute in understanding risks. “Men need to assess their individual risks including family history of cancer, whether or not they smoke, along with their age, race, and weight,” Hampton said. “This will help your doctor assess the risks and benefits of performing tests.”

Dr. Hampton suggests that healthier life choices is a motive that can help prevent prostate cancer overall. Minimizing alcohol and tobacco consumption, and eating whole foods are great contributions to living a healthier and lower-risked life.

Regular physical activity, learning stress-reducing techniques, and overall taking control over your body are key essentials, he says.

Overall, the canine study is still up for discussion and is not officially published

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  1. It’s amazing what dogs can do and be trained to do!

  2. More reason why you should allow the puppies to sniff your crotch.


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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.