Humans have put dogs’ remarkable sense of smell to use by training them to sniff out explosives and narcotics. Their powerful noses can also detect viruses, bacteria, and signs of cancer in a person’s body or bodily fluids.
Research suggests that dogs can detect many types of cancers in humans.
Like many other diseases, cancers leave specific traces, or odor signatures, in a person’s body and bodily secretions. Cancer cells, or healthy cells affected by cancer, produce and release these odor signatures.
Dogs can detect these odor signatures and, with training, alert people to their presence. People refer to dogs that undergo training to detect certain diseases as medical detection dogs.
Scientists have found evidence that some dogs can detect colorectal cancer from people’s breath and watery stool with high levels of accuracy, even for early-stage cancers.
Dogs’ abilities may also help with developing machines that can reliably detect odor signatures from cancer, such as electronic noses or AI.
Source: Medical News Today