DOGS AND CANCER
CAN DOGS SNIFF OUT PEOPLE WITH CANCER? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Dogs are able to tell with good accuracy when someone has lung cancer, a recent German study reported. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says this observation has been around for some time.
NELSON: This has been an ongoing story for several years, at least five or six years that I can remember where dogs have been able to sniff out, the breath in this case, for lung cancer, urine for people with prostate cancer, other things for people with bowel cancer, and one wonders what's really happening here. Clearly the dogs are smelling something, and I think the real question is what exactly are the dogs smelling to make this discrimination, and if we can ascertain what that is we may be able to define a quantitative and reliable test for it and it may help us detect cancer. :30
Nelson says it's not surprising that dogs are smelling something humans cannot, but relying on even a highly trained canine to make a cancer diagnosis is probably not practical in the near term. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.