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Ovarian cancer

Working Dogs Sniff Out Ovarian Cancer

Monday, November 17, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: ovarian cancer, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Researchers have been able to train working docs to distinguish between the smell of ovarian and other gynecological forms of cancer, in what may eventually lead to a breakthrough in the early diagnosis of this highly fatal disease.

A team from Working Dog Clubs in Sweden and Hungary and the University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden, trained dogs to identify the sense of cervical, endometrial and ovarian cancers. The dogs were particularly trained to distinguish between various types and graves of ovarian cancer, including early and even borderline tumors.

While the dogs for able to distinguish between ovarian and other gynecological cancers, they could not distinguish between different stages of ovarian cancer. This suggests that low-grade and early-stage of ovarian tumors have the same sense as more advanced forms of the disease, which may prove promising for early diagnosis.

"Our study strongly suggests that the most common ovarian carcinomas are characterized by a single specific odor detectable by trained dogs," the researchers wrote. They encouraged the use of dogs for further research, but noted that "we do not believe that dogs should be used in clinical practice, because they may be influenced during their work, leading to changes in the accuracy rates."

"I believe there is great value in this study, which adds to the growing body of research suggesting the diagnostic skills of these specially trained dogs," said Keith I. Block, MD, editor-in-chief of Integrative Cancer Therapies. "Their ability to detect specific odors associated with chemicals related to malignancy should eventually lead to effective methods and tools for very early detection."

Currently, no diagnostic test exists for ovarian cancer. In suspected cases, doctors must perform a surgical procedure and take biopsies of suspicious tissue. For this reason, more than 60 percent of ovarian cancers are detected after the malignancy has spread to another part of the body. This is the major contributor to the poor survival rate of those with the disease.

Sources for this story include: www.sciencedaily.com.
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