Dogs have been trained by individuals and authorities alike to sniff out a variety of objects, from drugs to hard-drives containing child pornography. Dr. Claire Guest managed to achieve a more difficult task, training dogs to sense cancer cells on humans based on the smells of skin, urine and other indicators.
Dr. Guest has published extensive research on the topic, allegedly beginning by reaching a rate of 73 percent accuracy in dogs attempting to detect cancer cells in samples provided by patients.
Dr. Guest also claims that one of her dogs, a labrador named Daisy, helped detect the breast cancer with which she was ultimately diagnosed. The detection took place when she let her dogs out of a vehicle to play but one animal stuck behind.
“Daisy seemed to be pawing at my chest. She bumped against my body repeatedly - I pushed her away, but she nuzzled against me again, clearly upset. She pushed me so hard that it bruised me. Her behavior was totally out of character - she was normally such a happy dog, who would never hesitate to race after the other dogs. I felt the tender area where she’d pushed me, and over the next few days I detected the tiniest lump,” Guest said, according to the Daily Mail.
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Guest later established a charity called Medical Detection Dogs, in which 12 canine workers now detect cancer cells at a rate of 93% accuracy. There are numerous examples in which dogs — particularly Daisy — have detected the disease and somehow alerted an owner. The use of dogs in the detection process is being more seriously considered by the medical community.
Source: Daily Mail