Remarkable Scent-Trained Dog Can Detect Thyroid Cancer

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An amazing scent-trained dog named Frankie has been highly successful in sniffing out thyroid cancer in people who had not yet been diagnosed, American researchers report.

Frankie was trained to sniff the patients’ urine sample and determine whether the samples showed thyroid cancer or were benign. The German Shepherd-mix managed to detect cancer in 30 out of 34 cases in the study which means he had an 88% success rate in finding cancer.

Dr. Donald Bodenner, head of endocrine oncology at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock said that Frankie’s success rate was similar to that of a needle biopsy. However, Frankie’s method is inexpensive and, more importantly, non-invasive. Moreover, Frankie is the first dog trained to make a difference between benign thyroid disease and thyroid cancer.

Although Frankie currently participates in research only, Dr. Bodenner hopes that dogs will soon be used to help doctors diagnose cancers and other diseases.

The capability of dogs to smell minute amounts is unbelievable. The medical community over the next few years is going to have a great appreciation [for them].

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