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Dogs Can Accurately Sniff Out Early Stage Bowel Cancer

Posted Jan 31 2011 10:07pm

Dogs can sniff out bowel cancer in breath and stool samples, with a very high degree of accuracy – even in the early stages of the disease – reveals research published online in the journal Gut. The findings prompt the authors to suggest that chemical compounds for specific cancers circulate throughout the body, which opens up the prospect of developing tests to pick up the disease before it has had the chance to spread elsewhere.

A specially trained Labrador retriever completed 74 sniff tests, each comprising five breath (100 to 200 ml) or stool samples (50 ml) at a time, only one of which was cancerous, over a period of several months.

The samples came from 48 people with confirmed bowel cancer and 258 volunteers with no bowel cancer or who had had cancer in the past.

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