We all know what a man’s best friend is supposed to be… but what about a woman’s???
By the time ovarian cancer is found, it’s usually too late to save the patient. Buried deep in a woman’s body, it has no telltale signs, and we doctors have no standard tests to diagnose it early.
Over 14,000 women die of ovarian cancer every year in the United States, but like many cancers, it has a characteristic odor – one that the common household dog can be trained to detect before it’s too late. At the University of Pennsylvania, using tumor specimens donated by cancer victims, researchers are putting dogs to work to sniff out cancer.
“The reason dogs are so much better than humans (in detecting cancer) is because dogs have an ability to do what I describe as smell in color,” Dr. Cynthia Otto, director of the Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, told FoxNews.com. “They look around the room with their nose the same way we look around the room with our eyes. And they can smell each individual component.”
While I was observing two of the cancer sniffing dogs, McBain and Ohlin, not a single error was made. Each time they went right to the container that held the cancerous tissue. The trainer rewarded the successful dogs each time with a complimentary “good boy” affirmation.