Also known as “man’s best friend” dogs may also prove to be his best doctor.
According to Miami urologist Dr. George Suarez, a study published in this month’s Journal of Urology revealed that two properly trained German Shepherds could detect prostate cancer by sniffing the urine samples of participants in more than 9 out of 10 cases.
The research concluded that a trained canine smelling system can identify prostate cancer specific compounds in urine samples with high levels of specificity, but also warned that further studies were required to confirm the results.
If this discovery is even the slightest bit accurate, the study could have far-reaching implications. According to your Miami urologist, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015 there will be more than 220,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S., and over 27,000 men will perish from it.
Existing tools used for testing include undependable blood tests known as PSA tests and unpleasant options such as digital rectal exams. As with many cancers, the prognosis for prostate cancer improves when detected early, making the canine study extremely valuable to doctors and patients alike.
Your Miami urologist reports that many patients unfortunately find cancer too late, and with no cure for cancer, your best hope for survival is early detection. The process used in the study comes directly from basic dog training. Dogs are given dozens of samples of affected and unaffected patients, and using old-fashioned rewards, the dogs can alert people when the marker for cancer is found.
The dog has to determine what the common denominator is between the different samples, and that’s not always an easy task. In fact, humans have long worked to find a common denominator at the source of various cancers.
What is obvious is that cancer-sniffing dogs are more than just a whim. The most recent study builds on a long history of prior research that has connected superior cancer-finding abilities to canines. An earlier analysis determined that well-trained dogs achieved 99% accuracy in the detection of lung cancer and almost as impressive results for breast cancer. Ovarian cancer and bladder cancer have also all shown potential in studies with dogs.
If you haven’t had a prostate exam recently, call the office of best Miami urologist Dr. George Suarez today to schedule an appointment. Your life may just depend on it!