Dogs have a 98% reliability rate in sniffing out prostate cancer in men. That’s according to a study carried out by the Department of Urology at the Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre in Milan. It backs up previous research carried out by Medical Detection Dogs that found a 93% reliability rate. The Italian study involved two German shepherds sniffing the urine of 900 men – 360 with prostate cancer and 540 without. One dog one got it right in 98.7% of cases, while the other was correct in 97.6% of cases.
These results are spectacular. They offer us further proof that dogs have the ability to detect human cancer. It is particularly exciting that we have such a high success rate in the detection of prostate cancer, for which the existing tests are woefully inadequate.
Dr Claire Guest, from the Department of Urology at the Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre in Milan
The dogs were able to detect prostate cancer specific volatile organic compounds in the urine. Dr Guest said dogs can pick up a scent in a dilution of one to a thousand parts. There is no single test for prostate cancer, but the most commonly used are blood tests, a physical examination or a biopsy. “Over the years, millions of pounds of NHS funding has been poured into the traditional test methods, and yet there has been little improvement in their reliability,” Dr Guest added.