The possibility that dogs are able to detect cancer in humans has been researched for some time. A recent German research reports that dogs can be trained to detect lung cancer in patients. While the study is still in progress, they found that four particular dogs were able to identify 93% of cancer-free samples. This low rate of false positives is better than the imaging tests that most doctors use to detect lung cancer.
Time Healthland explains how dogs are able to do this:
It’s no secret that dogs have an acute and sophisticated sense of smell, and the scientists believe the canines are picking up on very subtle changes in certain volatile organic compounds in the breath, which may change when cancer is present. (In the study, patients exhaled into glass tubes filled with odor-capturing fleece, and the dogs were given these to sniff.)
It is truly remarkable that dog’s scene of smell is so strong that it is able to detect cancer. Would you trust a dog to diagnose you with lung cancer?