A recent British study says that Man's best friend might be able to detect bladder cancer . With their exceptionally sensitive noses, dogs can smell odors from malignant tumors in urine samples.
Six dogs of varying breeds and ages were trained over seven months to discriminate between urine from patients with bladder cancer and that from a control group. Each dog was then given samples of urine from six control group participants and one bladder cancer patient. The dogs identified their chosen sample by lying next to it in nine separate tests. The dogs detected the bladder cancer samples 22 out of 54 times, 27-percent more than would be expected by chance alone.
Results of the study showed that the dogs' capacity to recognize an odor characteristic of bladder cancer was independent of other chemical aspects of the urine, such as the presence of blood. Thus researchers say, their study provides the first piece of experimental evidence to show that dogs can detect cancer by olfactory means more successfully than would be expected by chance alone.