Study: Dogs can smell patients with early stage colorectal cancer (CRC), better than Colonoscopy

By on Feb 2, 2011 in Asia, Health, Science Comments

A recent study was made and proved that dogs can actually smell patients with early stage colorectal cancer (CRC), with has almost the same accuracy as colonoscopy, as long as they will be trained well.

Labarador retriever
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As published at on Monday, an online international journal for medicine, a trained Labarador retriever was used to smell patients with CRC and people without this disease, and resulted to about 95 percent accurate.

According to the research report, which was submitted by Dr Hideto Sonoda, Department of Surgery and Science Graduate School of Medicine at the Kyushu University in Japan, exhaled breath and watery stool samples were taken from patients with CRC and from healthy people.

Each test group consists of one sample from a patient with CRC and four samples taken from healthy volunteers, wherein 33 groups came from exhaled breath and 37 groups were from stool samples.

These five samples were placed into five separate boxes and randomly offered to the dog for sniffing, which first smell first the scent from a patient with CRC then smelled each sample station.

Apparently, the dog was able to detect the one from the patient with CRC and sat down in front of it, and the result went close to the result from the conventional colonoscopy diagnosis, a test where a tube with camera is being inserted on the patient’s rectum.

The dog scent test was said to have resulted to 97% in sensitivity, the colonoscopy test is only 91%; while the specificity for both tests are equally 99 percent, which follows that the dog’s smelling capability seem to be better than the colonoscopy test when it comes to detection of early stage CRC.

As noted in the conclusion of the report, a scent of CRC does exist and that odor compound may be a useful tool in the future to be used to develop new scientific methods in detecting the early stage of the specified cancer.

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