Dogs to Diagnose for Prostate Cancer
Early Sunday morning an Italian physician presented at the American Urological Association meeting about a unique tool for diagnosing prostate cancer: dogs. I’m not kidding.
Dr. Gianluigi Taverna presented a study that included a total of 677 people, of whom 320 were prostate cancer patients. The test involved training two dogs to identify the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) unique to prostate tumors.
VOCs, if present in the urine, produce an odor that is easily detected by the highly sensitive canine nose.
During the study, the dogs were trained to sniff urine samples looking for VOCs. An accurate identification resulted in a reward.
After repeated testing, one dog detected cancer at 98.9 percent of accuracy and the other one at 97.3 percent.
My Take On This
Well, I don’t have much to say about this, do I? I presume if reducing healthcare costs is really a top priority on the healthcare agenda, then we should forget about PSA and biopsies (even the better methods of prostate biopsy) and just use dogs to diagnose for prostate cancer.
I can’t way to see how all this evolves.
AUA 2014, Orlando, Florida – Dr. Taverna’s Abstract presentation