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My guest this week was Sonia Enwright from Medical Detection Dogs, she was explaining how dogs can be more than just pets, we can use them in a number of different ways to help enhance and even save human lives.
The UK has one of the worst cancer survival rates in Europe – because of late diagnosis. Medical Detection Dogs believe their research will help early diagnosis improve in the future.
Because dogs are able to detect tiny odour concentrations, around one part per trillion (the equivalent of one teaspoon of sugar in two Olympic sized swimming pools), they are potentially able to detect diseases, such as cancer, much earlier than is currently possible. Their pioneering work could help to speed up the diagnosis process and impact on thousands of lives.
They are very excited and proud to be carrying out an NHS ethically approved study into the dogs’ ability to detect urological cancers using their sense of smell. Alongside the urological study is running the first NHS ethically approved proof-of-principle trial exploring the ability of dogs to detect breast cancer and have interest from many in the medical profession on the potential to detect other cancers such as lung and colorectal cancers. The cancer work has two main aims:
To assist scientists through research into the development of electronic systems (E noses) that will assist in the early detection of cancer through cheap non-invasive tests.
In the short term, cancer dogs could provide additional testing for cancers that are currently difficult to diagnose reliably, such as prostate cancer.
For more information on Medical Detection dogs check out their website at www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk