Our faithful friends besides their faithful company can – in many cases – detect the presence of tumors in the prostate through the urine with 93% efficiency, according to research carried out by the British organization Medical Detection Dogs, collected by the Royal Canine Society of Spain (RSCE) on the occasion of the International Day Against Cancer.
Thanks to early detection, the deaths caused by this disease could be reduced, which amount to about 9 million a year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and in that regard dogs take on a leading role. Because his nose has proven to be practically infallible. According to Medical Detection Dogs, your nose is the best biological sensor we have, with 300 million olfactory receptors in the snout.
A 2014 investigation indicated that these animals are able to detect small traces of the smell created by different diseases, including cancer. A disease that is already one of the greatest enemies of world health Since only in 2020, the number of new cases of cancer diagnosed in Spain will reach 277,394, a figure very similar to that of 2019, with those of lung, colon and stomach causing the most deaths, as with breast cancer In the case of women.
Thus, the British organization trains the dogs for six months from Monday to Friday so that they can help in the detection work, especially To end false positives. When dogs identify the smell associated with cancer in samples of quantities of 0.5 millimeters, they indicate it by sitting or standing. In this way, the British public health system has already incorporated these tests with dogs because of their high reliability.
But not only they are limited to prostate cancer; They also help detect breast cancer, which is the world’s second leading cause of death among women. Isabelle Fromatin of the Marie Curie Institute, a researcher associated with the Chair of Nursing Sciences of the University of Paris 13, arrived in this determination, which began in 2009 a thesis on wounds and injuries caused by breast cancer.
His research determined that when a person suffers from this disease, your body produces organic chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOC), which dogs can detect through their sense of smell, so that the disease could be detected early. This is how the KDOG project emerged in 2011, for which a multidisciplinary team was established at the Marie Curie Institute formed by specialists from the center itself (pathologists, nurses and oncological surgeons), scientific researchers in biology and chemistry at the ESPCI engineering school Paris and dog experts (veterinarians, ethologists and caregivers) to shape this project and train dogs for this important work.
In this way, dogs, in addition to helping in therapy work for the recovery of patients in hospitalsThey can also contribute to research, which gives a qualitative leap to the fight against this deadly disease that remains the major concern of the medical field.
“In Spain we still do not have advanced research with dogs to treat cancer, so it is advisable to know what is being done in other countries so that you can start working in this line, especially in a society where dogs are already integrated in almost half of homes. The dogs are man’s best friends, but they can also be their cure if their abilities are used for the benefit of science and health, ”said Julián Hernández, president of the Royal Canine Society of Spain.