You probably have good reason to love your dog now, but you'll appreciate it even more knowing that it can be trained to detect cancer. New research discovered that dogs are incredibly accurate at detecting prostrate cancer in urine samples.
According to New York Daily News, researchers trained two German shepherds named Zoe and Liu to sniff out cancer. The Italian Ministry of Defense's Military Veterinary Center in Grosseto spent five months with the dogs, teaching them how to use their noses for detection. The ladies are very successful pooches – before working with researchers, Zoe and Liu sniffed out explosives for the Ministry of Defense.
During research, both dogs sniffed about 200 urine samples from a group of prostrate cancer patients, and 230 samples from a control group. Collectively, Zoe and Liu had a detection accuracy rate of 98 percent. In fact, one dog was 100-percent accurate in finding prostrate cancer samples and 98-percent accurate in weeding out non-cancerous samples. The other dog displayed 98.6 percent accuracy in detecting prostate cancer and 96.4 percent accuracy in ruling out cancer-free samples.
"The possibility of using dogs identifying cancer is something most would never have considered possible a decade or two ago. It's an interesting concept that 'man's best friend' could help save your life," Dr. Brian Stork, a urologist at West Shore Urology in Muskegon, Michigan, told NBC.
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