Dogs Can Predict Cancer
An Animal Rights Article from


Will Tuttle, Ph.D., The World Peace Diet
February 2006

In a society where lung and breast cancers are leading causes of cancer death worldwide, early detection of the disease is highly desirable. A new scientific study has found that dogs can detect these cancers early on.

The extraordinary scenting ability of dogs can distinguish people with both early and late stage lung and breast cancers from people without those conditions. Household dogs were trained to detect lung or breast cancer by sniffing the breath of cancer participants. The dogs were later presented with breath samples—captured in a special tube—from the human participants, some with cancer and some without. Dogs were trained to indicate a cancer patient to researchers by sitting down directly in front of a test station containing a cancer patient sample, while ignoring samples from healthy people.

The results showed dogs can detect breast and lung cancer with specificity between 88 and 97 percent! The accuracy persisted even after results were adjusted to take into account whether the lung cancer patients were currently smokers. Moreover, the study also confirmed that the trained dogs could even detect the early stages of both diseases.

The researchers concluded that breath analysis by dogs could substantially assist in early diagnosis of the disease.


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