Search This Blog

Friday, 19 August 2011

Definitely "man's best friend"!

At a time when officials in Thailand have just received 14 million baht for the unfortunate dogs who were caught in terrible conditions being sent to slaughter in Vietnam, its great to hear a good news or "shaggy dog" story! Dogs, while they cannot speak, have an ability to communicate a selfless sense of comfort, understanding and well-being. They are the most underestimated social animals out there.

A report in Arab News says German scientists have been experimenting with sniffer dogs and found they can accurately detect lung cancer by smelling breath samples. In a study carried out by researchers from Schillerhoehe Hospital in Germany, the dogs were able to correctly detect lung tumors in 71 percent of patients, suggesting a similar technique could be used for early detection in future.

“In the breath of patients with lung cancer, there are likely to be different chemicals to normal breath samples and the dogs’ keen sense of smell can detect this difference at an early stage of the disease,” said Thorsten Walles, who led the study and published its findings in the European Respiratory Journal on Thursday.

Lung cancer, mostly linked to smoking, is the second most common form of cancer in men and women across Europe and causes more than 340,000 deaths per year. It is also the most common cause of death from cancer worldwide.

The disease is notoriously hard to detect in its early stages and scientists have been working on using breath tests for possible future screening programs. The sniffing method relies on identifying so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are linked to the presence of cancer.

I wrote another blog on dogs and their ability to sniff different forms of cancer. I'll look for it and post the link here.

It's great to know that these pooches are getting the respect they deserve!

No comments: