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Dogs Used to Detect Breast Cancer in New Research Trial

18 August 2014

UK - Women who are considered to be at higher risk of breast cancer could soon be screened for the disease by breathing into a tube, which is then sniffed by a specially trained dog.

The animals working for Medical Detection Dogs in Buckinghamshire have already been shown to be more reliable at detecting prostate cancer than current blood tests, with 93 per cent accuracy when sniffing urine samples, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Medical Detection Dogs is now embarking on a landmark trial to establish if the dogs can accurately detect breast cancer from samples of breath which if proven would 'revoluntionise' how doctors think about the diagnosis of all cancers, the researchers said.

Dr Claire Guest, a behavioural psychologist and founder of the charity, said her dog Daisy alerted her to her own breast cancer when they were working on the prostate cancer trial.

Daisy, a fox red labrador, persisted in jumping at Dr Guest's chest and after medical tests, a deep seated early tumour was found.

Daisy has worked on 6,000 urine samples and has been found to be 93 per cent reliable in detecting prostate cancer.

Early studies, published in medical literature, have suggested dogs can detect bowel and lung cancer in breath samples.

Now six other dogs will be trained to sniff for breast cancer in breath samples for the new trial, which has alreday begun.

The best four will taken forward and tested in the trial using samples from 1,500 women.

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