If Dogs Can Smell Cancer, Why Don’t They Screen People?
Posted by msmash on 27th December 2017
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An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a Scientific American report: Dogs can be trained to be cancer-sniffing wizards, using their sensitive noses to detect cancerous fumes wafting from diseased cells. This sniffing is noninvasive and could help diagnose countless people, which begs the question: If these pups are so olfactorily astute, why aren’t they screening people for cancer right now? Here’s the short answer: Dogs do well in engaging situations, such as helping law enforcement track scents or guiding search-and-rescue teams in disaster areas. But sniffing thousands of samples in which only a handful may be cancerous is challenging work with little positive reinforcement. Moreover, it takes time and energy to train these pups, who, despite extensive preparation, still might miss a diagnosis if they’re having a bad day, experts told Live Science.

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