Dogs Sniff Out Ovarian Cancer

Published 01/31 2014 05:59PM

Updated 01/31 2014 06:01PM

Researchers in Pennsylvania are training dogs to sniff out ovarian cancer.

Many diseases have their own distinct chemical makeup with a particular odor, that's not obvious to the human nose, but dogs have a keen sense of smell.

The Springer Spaniel  can detect chemicals and changes in odors that humans and technology cannot.

"The great thing about dogs is not only are they more sensitive but they can filter things out, " says Dr. Cynthia Otto, the Director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center.

Mcbaine and other dogs at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia, have been taught to sniff out ovarian cancer tissue.

Dr. Otto adds, "we switch the sample location we change things around just to make sure that we are very confident that that's what detecting."

By using the dog's sense of smell, researchers hope to narrow down a specific odor so scientists can design a blood or urine test that can detect ovarian cancer in its earliest stages. 

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