dogs sniff out cancer

As i signed outa my y! today i was struck by news which said that dogs can sniff out cancer. Now this was interesting, and a little digging around took me here

“The anatomical structures used by dogs and humans for detecting and processing odor information are not the same. Detection thresholds of dogs are many times higher than for humans. The biggest anatomical difference is the number of sensory receptor cells (Moulton et al., 1960), which is best illustrated by a comparison of the size of the scent organs. In humans, the scent organs are approximately 5 square centimetres in surface area, whereas for dogs they are 75-150 square centimetres. The cerebral cortex processes information from the olfactory sense. In dogs, about 33 per cent of the entire cortex is used for this task, whereas in humans it is only 5 per cent”

So now that they sense cancer, how are we going to know, how do we communicate with them or vice versa? Apparently, research has proved that dogs can be trained to sniff out bladder cancer from urine. There have also been claims that a dog actually sniffed his owners’ breast cancer when he started sniffing, snuffling and becoming agitated when he sat on his owners lap, which drove his owner suspicious and got a scan with a positive indication of cancer.

So the next time your dog starts acting funny around you, remember its trying to tell you something that could just save your life.
There will come a time when the nurse would say “Now the dog will see you” ;)
It also gets me wondering where the name LABrador was coined from … hmm..

4 responses to “dogs sniff out cancer

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