Hey, brokowski… do you love you dog? Do you value good health? Then this post is for you.
Dog’s have been man’s best friend for tens of thousands of years. Going all the way back to when they were wolves, hunting and ravaging the countryside. Some would even argue that they evolved over time in order to better assist us with everyday tasks. Meaning that we are symbiotic like a clownfish and a sea anemone, or like football and beer. Or as some experts have said, “We didn’t domesticate dogs. They domesticated us.”
Plus, they are good for our health.
In a recent study on men’s health, prostate cancer, and dogs, our best friend is perpetuating the long-lived husbandry that has punctuated our relationship, and is continuing to domesticate us by helping us sniff out and treat prostate cancer.
According to the American Urological Association in Florida, dogs have detected cancerous cells in the urine of men with prostate cancer 98% of the time, in what they are calling a “reproducible, low-cost, and non-invasive” procedure.
“Using dogs to recognize prostate cancer might help reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies and better pinpoint patients at high risk for the disease,” said Dr. Gianluigi Taverna on Milan.
Astounding findings. But not the first.
In the early twenty-first century (and one rogue study in 1989 with no write up), dogs began their journey into smelling cancer in humans. First, officially, in 2004, then in 2006. The peer-reviewed studies claimed that dogs could smell lung cancer with an impeccable 99% accuracy because of aromatic compounds produced by tumors.
The proposed benefits?
Some argue (as Dr. Taverna did above) that using dogs to detect cancer in patients is inexpensive and time-saving. Citing that it is similar to bomb detection or locating lost people in that the more a dog does it, the better they get at it. Which would lead to earlier detection, among other things.
Others have argued that because tumors produce a very low amount of alkanes, some modern machines may not detect them, and that dog’s noses work better.
No matter how you see it, however, it is a simply amazing fact. Or as Dr. Brian Stork of West Shore Urology in Muskegon, Michigan said, “The possibility of using dogs identifying cancer is something most would never have considered possible a decade or two ago. It’s an interesting concept that ‘man’s best friend’ could help save your life.”
For a comprehensive look, the full study can be found here.
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