“Prostate Cancer Cells Sniffed Out By Dogs”
In 2013, a whopping 239,000 American men were expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and it is the second most common cancer among men after skin cancer. It is estimated that one in every six men will be diagnosed with it. Back in 2004, studies found that older men with normal PSA levels were found to actually have prostate cancer in about 15% of them. However, false positive and negative results are associated with many other current medical tests. Men with both high and low levels of PSA can have cancer or not have cancer. The PSA test has not cut the death rate significantly and has resulted in harm in some patients, especially those over age 75. In short, no test is perfect. Thus far, only a biopsy can reveal certainty. Prostate removal costs about $13,000, and may lead to impotence or incontinence. Also, there is great controversy over how many of these patients need surgery or radiation, both of which are plagued with complications. Even hormonal treatment with medications (androgen deprivation, “chemical castration”) is associated with increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. So, accuracy in diagnosis is of prime importance. Now, things have gone to the dogs. According to a new study, with an accuracy rate of nearly 100%, 2 specially trained dogs (Liu and Zoey) were able to detect prostate cancer with their olfactory system, by sniffing urine samples.