Think You May Have Prostate Cancer? Ask A Dog

Worried that you might have prostate cancer? Ask a dog. Researchers at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, Italy are reporting that two specially trained dogs have the ability to detect organic chemicals releasegerman_shepherd_dog_1d into urine by prostate cancers with an accuracy rate of 98 percent. Prostate cancer tumors, it turns out, produce volatile organic compounds that evaporate quickly, producing a scent that can be smelled by dogs. HealthDay reports that the Italian researchers trained the dogs using urine samples taken from 677 people, including 320 prostate cancer patients (some with very low-risk tumors and some whose cancer had spread) and 357 healthy men. As with most dog training, the  dogs were given a reward when they caught the scent of a cancer-infected sample and sat in front of it. One dog could accurately detect prostate cancer 98.9 percent of the time, while the other had an accuracy rating of 97.3 percent. The researchers believe they have found an inexpensive and noninvasive method of diagnosing prostate cancer using a new class of medical professional with no attitude.

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