Dogs have been helping man since the days they were first domesticated. First trained to hunt and protect, the dog has had many roles since – as seeing eye dogs for the blind, assistants to the physically disabled, and as canine law enforcement. According to Fox News on October 7, they are now assisting in the medical field as they are being trained to sniff out ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is hard to detect in the early stages because it’s hidden so deep in a woman’s body. If the cancer is detected early, the survival rate is very high, but treatment is less effective the longer it goes undetected. The dog’s superior nose can sniff out a cancerous mass long before conventional methods of detection, which is a big breakthrough for modern medicine.
As dogs are trained to isolate the individual smells associated with ovarian cancer, scientists working with physicians and veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania are working to develop a mechanical device to mimic the process. If successful, countless lives can be saved.
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