Sniffer dogs can accurately detect prostate cancer

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Highly-trained dogs are able to detect prostate cancer in urine with 98% accuracy, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the [b]American Urological Association[/b]. ‘This study gives us a standardised method of diagnosis that is reproducible, low cost and non-invasive,’ lead author Dr Gianluigi Taverna, chief of the prostatic diseases unit at the [b]Humanitas Research Hospital[/b] in Milan is quoted in [s]Reuters Health[/s] as saying. Taverna pointed out, however, that although the high accuracy displayed by the dogs is encouraging, they are not about to replace human doctors. Plenty of other information, like tumour stage and size, and the age of the patient – none of which the dogs can detect – go into determining treatment, he noted. Dog-detection is a technique that ‘needs to be combined with other, common diagnostic tools (PSA, biopsy, MRI),’ Taverna said. Researchers have also been testing dogs’ ability to detect melanoma, as well as breast, lung, bladder and ovarian cancer.

Full Reuters Health report
AUA 2014 abstract

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