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How Accurate are Cancer Sniffing Dogs?

How Accurate are Cancer Sniffing Dogs?

how accurate are cancer sniffing dogs
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Cancer sniffing dogs are good for the early detection of cancer. Now, the question is, how accurate are cancer sniffing dogs?

Dogs have more powerful smell receptors than humans, so people want to know whether they can replace technology or not? It isn’t easy to detect cancer at an early stage. Still, the good news is that cancer sniffing dogs can detect cancer at an early stage by smelling blood, urine, skin and breathe samples.

Dogs have 10,000 times more powerful and accurate smell receptors than humans. They can smell samples and detect cancer in people with 97% accuracy.

Current diagnostic methods are unable to detect some cancer types. For example, only a few biomarkers were able to detect prostate cancer with accuracy. When the dogs are used to detect prostate cancer, they have done it with more accuracy than other advanced methods. Moreover, lung cancer isn’t easy to detect in the early stages by using CT scans and X-ray techniques. These methods’ success rate is only 75%, but beagles can detect cancer by sniffing blood samples with almost 97% accuracy

How Can Cancer Sniffing Dogs Detect Cancer With High Accuracy?

A normal human can’t perceive a sensitive odor, but cancer sniffing dogs have the ability to do this. They were given blood samples of people with cancer, and they detect it with 97% accuracy. This amazing ability makes them an excellent cancer screening alternative.

Moreover, it is the least expensive and non-invasive cancer detection approach. Early cancer detection isn’t an easy task, but cancer sniffing dogs can detect cancer even in the early stages. When cancer is detected early, there are high chances of a quick recovery.

Can Cancer Detection Dogs be the Replacement of Advanced Technology?

Yes, cancer detection dogs can detect cancer early that advanced machines and technology can’t always do. Indeed, they can be an alternative and co-operating method to technology, but it will take some time. Researchers have conducted a successful study on beagles. They have found that they can detect lung cancer successfully with high accuracy.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer type that is diagnosed in people. Moreover, it is also responsible for most cancer-related deaths. Due to the severity of this cancer, its early detection is crucial. When diagnosed in early stages, doctors can apply the best treatment methods for quick recovery. Early detection of lung cancer is possible by Pet and CT scans.

However, people still have some doubts, and they consider these methods as unreliable or inaccurate.

Researchers worked with beagles that belong to the scent hound family. These dogs are medium-sized, and they have 225 million olfactory receptors. On the other hand, humans have only 5 million olfactory receptors. That’s why they can detect lung cancer by smelling plasma samples.

How Dogs Were Able to Detect Cancerous Samples with High Accuracy

Initially, researchers worked on four beagles. They trained them. One of the dogs took no interest in training, so they don’t include that dog in their study. After the completion of training period, they asked three beagles to distinguish between samples of people with lung cancer and without cancer. They were asked to do it by smelling blood samples. All the blood samples were kept in one room at a reasonable height so that dogs can easily access and sniff them.

During training, beagles were trained to sit down after detecting a cancer sample and keep on moving if the sample is from a healthy person. Surprisingly, dogs had done this with 97% accuracy and 96.7% sensitivity. Along with lung cancer, they can also detect breast and colorectal cancer. It can be said that dogs have a better ability to detect cancer than advanced cancer detection machines. Moreover, it is the least expensive and effective approach to cancer detection.

Is It Easy to Train Dogs for Cancer Detection?

It depends on the dog’s breed and interest. Dogs like beagles belong to the scent hound family, and they can be easily trained. You can train your own dog, but it will take time and of course you will have to provide the samples.

Moreover, a dog’s training is never an easy job, and it requires massive resources. When dogs are trained well, they can detect cancer with almost 97% accuracy, which is far better than advanced technology.

What Are the Benefits of Cancer Detection Dogs?

Cancer sniffing dogs are much better option nowadays for cancer detection. Some benefits of cancer detection dogs are given below:

  • Affordable

Normally cancer detection methods are very costly, but cancer sniffing dogs are the most affordable cancer detection option. It is the least expensive and non-invasive method.

  • High Accuracy

Cancer sniffing dogs can detect different cancer types with almost 97% accuracy. It is much better than advanced technology.

  • Low Risk

Cancer detection by cancer sniffing dogs is less or no risk approach. However, other advanced methods can be risky.

  • Mobile

Cancer sniffing dogs are mobile and can start working at any place and anytime. You don’t have to visit the doctor to get to know whether you have a reason to be worried. These dogs can help detect cancer at home, but the final and precise diagnosis is always a qualified doctor’s task.

  • Different Samples

Cancer sniffing dogs not only detect cancer by sniffing blood samples, but they can also detect cancer by sniffing urine, breath, skin, sweat, and feces.

  • Different Cancer Types

They are not restricted to any one cancer type. They can help detect lung, breast, colorectal, and canine cancer. Indeed, it is the best approach for early cancer detection, as they can provide a useful alert.


Over time, cancer sniffing dogs have been proven to be the most effective and best alternative or   cooperative method to advanced cancer detection technologies. It is the most reliable and least expensive cancer detection method. The best thing about this method is its 97% accuracy, which is amazing. Now, you have got the answer to how accurate are cancer smelling dogs in a detailed manner.

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