More spectacular research out of the U.K. has determined that dogs can detect prostate cancer in men almost every single time!
Tests showed dogs correctly made the detection in 98 per cent of cases after sniffing the urine of men. Previous studies have found that the PSA test is only 20 per cent accurate whereas early trials of the dogs have found they are correct in most cases.
Dr Claire Guest, co-founder of Medical Detection Dogs, a Buckinghamshire charity, said: "These results are spectacular. They offer us further proof that dogs have the ability to detect human cancer. "It is particularly exciting that we have such a high success rate in the detection of prostate cancer, for which the existing tests are woefully inadequate."
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with more than 40,000 cases diagnosed every year.
An Italian study involved two German shepherd dogs sniffing the urine of 900 men - 360 with prostate cancer and 540 without. Scientists found one dog got it right in 98.7 per cent of cases, while the other was correct in 97.6 per cent of cases. They said the dogs were able to detect specific volatile organic compounds in the urine, but said an important question remained of how a dog would find it in daily practice. Previous studies showed a 93% reliability rate
Medical Detection Dogs, which is based in the U.K., trains specialist canines to detect the odour of human disease. It also trains Medical Alert Assistance dogs to help people with life-threatening health conditions go about their daily lives. It was announced last year that it was to carry out trials on whether dogs could detect breast cancer in women.