Austrian research: Dogs can sniff out lung cancer

December 6, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

As if we didn’t have quite enough reasons to be thankful for dogs:

VIENNA, Dec 6 – Dogs are surprisingly adept at sniffing out lung cancer, results from a pilot project in Austria published yesterday suggested, potentially offering hope for earlier, life-saving diagnosis.

“Dogs have no problem identifying tumour patients,” said Peter Errhalt, head of the pulmonology department at Krems hospital in northern Austria, one of the authors of the study.

The test saw dogs achieve a 70-per cent success rate identifying cancer from 120 breath samples, a result so “encouraging” that a two-year study 10 times larger will now take place, Errhalt said.


As I write in my upcoming book, my mom was taken by lung cancer (Stage 4, non-small-cell) that was diagnosed too late, only after it had spread to her bones.  I acted as her in-home caregiver for the last three years of her life, so I saw how this disease ravages the human body.

She also loved dogs.  I can’t help but wonder what might have happened had she been a trial patient, in her native Vienna.




Filed in: The Blog, The human-dog relationship

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