Cancer Detection

Medical Scent Detection Dogs

Dina is in the forefront of medical scent detection training. She has trained the dogs for two federally funded studies. In 2003 she assisted in dog training 5 dogs to detect early stage lung and breast cancer with 99% accuracy (sensitivity). The study is published in the Journal of Integrative Cancer Therapies. See Studies at In 2012 Dina was hired to train 9 more dogs to detect ovarian cancer.

This study is currently undergoing peer review and analysis for publication. Dina also trained 10 dogs to detect urinary tract infections in disabled people. The dogs are trained to detect e.coli, the bacteria that causes a common type of UTI. Disabled people often die from urinary tract infections because of catheter use and the lack of physical sensation. They have no warning signs. Now, the dogs can alert their partners that something is wrong. Read more about the studies here and watch a news segment on the clinical trials below.

Dog Noses Are a Powerful Tool

People generally don’t understand how powerful a tool these cancer-scenting
dogs are. Not only are they 98% accurate, but they’re also capable of early detection. Radiography (X-Ray) under diagnoses cancer, where the MRI over-diagnoses, or gives false positives, resulting in biopsy and unnecessary surgeries. There is no current screening for lung cancer that makes sense, and that’s where the dogs fit in.

Dina’s goal is to open a low cost or free cancer screening facility, where these
cancer-scenting dogs could save many lives. That is her dream. The study is also leading scientists to the development of the mechanical nose, which will try to mimic the capabitlities of the dog nose. One day, you will simply blow into a tube, and by the gas chromatography, a machine will be able to detect if you have “cancer on your breath”. But, so far, only the wonderful dog can do that. Nothing comes close to the power of a dogs nose. It always knows.

Research Papers

Read some of the research that has been published about canine cancer detection, as well as similar applications of the canine nose.

Lung Cancer Scent Canine

Detection – European Respiratory Journal

Scent Identifications in Criminal

Investigations – Michael McCulloch et. all

Filter-Search Mine Detection

Dogs – International Journal of Comparative Psychology

Canine Detection Capabilities – J.M.

Johnston, Ph.D., Auburn University

Canine Detection: Myth or Opportunity? –

Giuseppe Lippi and Gianfranco Cervellin

Lung Cancer Detection: Editorial –

Michael McCulloch et. all

Diagnostic Accuracy of Canine Scent

Detection– Michael McCulloch et. all

Canine Detection: Review – Journal

Of Veterinary Behavior

Article – People Magazine

Evidence for Detection of Melanoma –

Applied Animal Behavior Science

Cancer Screening with Odour Material –

Pine Street Foundation