Breast cancer may be one of the most dreaded diseases for any person to have to endure. It seems to be one of those lethal diseases that secretly invades the body with minimal warning while inadvertently evade a cure. Although the disease has been traditionally stereotyped to be one that is expected to mainly attack the breasts of women, statics have shown that men are just as susceptible to being diagnosed with breast cancer as well, even if there may only be a few rare cases reported. Early detection methods are often said to be the most effective preventive measure for assuring minimal damage to the breast tissue and its surrounding organs. A continuous study into the disease in order to find an effective cure has yet to unveil a substantial antidote for use by anyone who has been diagnosed with this disease. In the meantime, discovering all possible resourceful that may help detect the disease before it crosses over to the point of becoming fatal. Apparently, it looks as if someone has come up with an idea that does not seem too far-fetched in detecting breast cancer by studying dogs.
One of the more brilliant discoveries in the fight against breast cancer is the experimentation of using dogs as a way to detect cancer cells inside the body in somewhat of the same manner as playing the “go fetch” game. Several studies were conducted using real cancer patient participants to see if dogs could have the same ability to sniff out cancer cells. Miraculously, the study showed that the trained cancer-sniffing dogs had an accuracy rate of 99 percent for finding lung cancer cells, and 88 percent accurate at detecting prostate cancer inside the human body. The extensive training period for the dogs was approximately 12 weeks, much like in the same manner as a police dog would be trained to fetch hidden drugs.with training mostly consisting of teaching the dogs on how to fetch a unique “aroma” that only a breast cancer patient may have. The training procedure for these dogs started with cancer patients being asked to breathe into tubes. The tube samples were then introduced to the dog followed by a reward system that was used by the trainers in order to teach the dog when to react to the scent. Eventually, these dogs may have become so accustomed in fetching the scent of breast cancer that once the dogs advanced to a certain level of expertise, they might have been promoted to doing actual searches out in the field of medicine by way of advanced studies.
Given the fact that dogs do have an incredible keen sense of smell, researchers have discovered that dogs have the ability to smell 100,000 times more accurately than humans. The nose of a dog is designed significantly different than that of a human nose; humans inhale in and exhale out through the same airway passage whereas dogs have a divided airway via the slit on the side of the nose. With this added bonus feature for the canine species, it is no wonder why the idea of a dog being able to sniff out breast cancer tissue behind all the fatty tissue may have lead into formulating this hypothesis. Overall, it may be said that these highly-skilled well-trained dogs have fetched all the way up to the top of the list of possibilities by the way these canines help fight against breast cancer.
Opinion by Stephanie Tapley