January 17, 2006 2:00 p.m. EST
Yvonne Lee – All Headline News Staff Reporter
(AHN) – A new study suggests that dogs can sniff out lung and breast cancer by smelling a person’s breath.
The nonprofit Pine Street Foundation found that dogs can detect the cancers at their earliest states, even before they appear on an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), reports HealthDay News.
Researchers believe the dogs pick up on chemicals that are present in the breath of a person with cancer.
Scientists trained three Labrador retrievers and two Portuguese water dogs to sit of lay down in front of breath samples from lung and breast cancer patients.
“These were not super dogs,” said Nicholas Broffman, executive director of the Pine Street Foundation. “They were just ordinary household pets.”
They were exposed to the breaths of 55 patients with lung cancer, 31 with breast cancer, and 83 healthy people.
The dogs were 88 percent to 97 percent accurate in identifying both early- and late-stage breast and lung cancers.
The study will be published in the March issue of Integrative Cancer Therapies.