Study: Dogs Have a 93 Percent Accuracy Rate In Detecting Prostate and Bladder Cancer

Dog_noseIt appears that we would all be better off if we just let our dogs sniff our rear ends. In Buckinghamshire, researchers have found that dogs have a 93% reliability rate when detecting bladder and prostate cancer. The research by by Dr Claire Guest and her colleagues has been published in Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre in Milan.

The research involved two German shepherds sniffing the urine of 900 men – 360 with prostate cancer and 540 without. Not only did the dogs have a near perfect record, they were virtually identical. Dog one got it right in 98.7% of cases, while for dog two this was 97.6%.

Medical Detection Dogs trains specialist dogs to detect the odor of human disease.

Another example of why dogs are man’s best friend. It appears that the cats tested simply shrugged and looked for a new owner.

17 thoughts on “Study: Dogs Have a 93 Percent Accuracy Rate In Detecting Prostate and Bladder Cancer”

  1. On the other hand, look how much we could save visiting a confused doctor who keeps putting us on a new medication and adjusting dosages. And what about all those repetitive lab tests that show nothing. This would make AHC advocates smile! 🙂

  2. I can see it now, I’m waiting for the doctor to enter the examination room, and in walks a dog with a stethoscope around his neck. He begins sniffing me and with sign language or symbols, tells the doctor what’s wrong with me. My doctors fees triple–after all the doctor has to feed and care for the dog.

  3. Chinggis think now time for new degree, dogtorate of medicine. Retrievers be Lab Assistants. If dog sniff and point, urine trouble.

  4. Isaac, I am quite certain researchers are working on other less intrusive, and more reliable testing for prostate cancer detection. Regarding the number of dogs needed if this turns out to be the best way to screen for prostate cancer. This country is overrun w/ dogs. But, in the remote chance more are needed, they reproduce almost like rabbits. That is a funny scenario picture you paint in the hospital. Finally, dogs are very therapeutic. We had a friend in a nursing home that had comfort dogs brought in a few times a week. It brought tears to my eyes seeing the comfort they brought patients.

  5. Prostate cancer is no laughing matter.

    PSA tests are inaccurate.

    Prostatic biopsies are very painful.

    Soon science will produce synthetic German Shepherd noses.

    Toilets will have them as accessories.

  6. A dog’s sense of smell is said to be 1000 times more sensitive than that of humans. Saying that we have medical tests that can detect various medical issues is not the answer. These dogs may be able to detect problems even BEFORE our generally accepted methods can spot issues such as cancer. It’s not an either/or situation here. Why not use both our standard methods and this somewhat novel approach? Years ago, I once saw a documentary where a woman claimed that her dog started to behave in a strange manner. She would curl up next to him on the sofa, like she had done for years, but he had recently started to nuzzle his nose into her armpit, which was not something that he had done in the past. He would then proceed to bark at her. This continued for a while, until the woman, who was asymptomatic, went to the doctor for a checkup. The doctors found a very small malignant tumor in the same spot that this dog was reacting to when he was next to his owner on the couch.

  7. Nick

    I, sort of, stand corrected. However, that Prostate cancer detection being difficult may be sufficient reason for including dogs in the mix does not negate the fact that scientists should be working on making Prostrate cancer detection less difficult in conventional ways. That’s a lot of dogs that are going to be needed, in all the clinics and hospitals, in all the towns, villages, cities, etc, in all the countries, around the world.

    Animals, especially dogs, have long been seen as an aid in recuperation. Lots of dogs in hospitals and recovery facilities could pose some interesting scenarios. The dog of the patient in the next bed starts sniffing around your bed and the first thought flashing through your mind is, ‘oh no’.

  8. HumpinDog here at the dogpac was employed at the local hospital for a short while to engage in human testing. However, he was annoying in his methodology. If you know what I mean jellybean. So lately they hired SnortinDog for the job. He has first rate results except they say that he is loud in giving his pronouncements. So they take the patients out in the parking lot for the dog sniff tests. One of the doctors who opposes this calls it the Hearsay of The Dog program. He has a kid who is a lawyer. The kid raises the same objection when he is in court objecting to dog sniff evidence when the so called Alert Dogs assist in a traffic stop and find pot in the trunk. BarkinDog, who knows about this testing, is in Europe sniffing out hookers for his half blind guy in Amsterdam. He may chime in. The whole dogpac is discussing the story this morning.

  9. Isaac, Prostate cancer detection is a real problem. The PSA test is very unreliable, causing many false positives. It is the only test we currently have. The nest step is the very intrusive needle biopsy. So, you are incorrect. If a man can give a simple urine sample and have a dog detect, w/ an incredible accuracy, prostate cancer, then it is incredibly significant.

    Pogo, please weigh in on this!

  10. LOL about the cats. I have been fascinated by the potential for dogs since seeing a documentary several years back. Their olfactory senses are incredible. But dogs have a gene that makes cross breeding easier than w/ any other animal on this planet. There is a breed of dog that a Russian trainer has honed that can smell one microscopic piece of explosive. However, not only can this dog detect the explosive, it is self directed. W/ bomb/drug sniffing canines the dog is directed to suspicious items. This breed does not need direction. It covers a large area, and if it smells an explosive, it simply sits @ attention in front of the item.

  11. If the dog can tell the difference it must be some chemical imbalance or difference in the urine. So, we can’t do a lab test for this? This is either a big waste of money or the dogs must be able to differentiate where scientists cannot.

  12. Is this info from a peer-reviewed, respectable journal? It sounds like BS. The sensitivity of dogs’ olfactory sense is indeed amazing. But to perform the sort of “test” cited would require years of preparation. You have to collect urine from men suffering this type of cancer for six months to a year while you train the dogs. You also have to have other similar dogs trained to sniff out various items, but not this sort of condition. The preparation would be extensive, prolonged & expensive. And difficult. The whole article doesn’t pass the “sniff test” (as lawyers often say)!!

  13. I will have to keep a look out if my GSD starts giving me weird looks. I do know that our previous GSD used to know when our daughter, who is type diabetic, was having issues. When her blood sugar was low she wouldn’t leave her alone. It drove my daughter nuts.

  14. Great news. Now we just need to repurpose all those poor dogs that have been forced to sniff for pot for years into a useful job and the country will be much better off.

  15. I am not sure I would like to leave my health to the local German Shepherd.

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