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Old 08-08-2015, 04:54 AM   #93
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Buckinghamshire UK
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Dogs used to detect prostate cancer in new trial

The UK's first clinical trial into prostate cancer detection by dogs has been given the go ahead

The NHS is to take part in the first ever UK trials using dogs to detect cancer.

Samples from prostate cancer patients will be used as part of national research to see if the method is more accurate than conventional testing.

A charity which trains dogs in medical detection will take urine samples from 3,000 patients from Milton Keynes University Hospital as part of a three-year trial.

Nine dogs will smell the samples and their verdicts will be recorded and compared with the results of traditional testing to evaluate how reliable the canines are.

Studies abroad have suggested that the olfractory skills of doctors are more successful than traditional tests used by the NHS.

Last year Italian research on 677 samples correctly detected 98 per cent of cases.

Tests so far by Medical Detection Dogs, the charity behind the new study, have suggested reliability levels of around 93 per cent.

“Our dogs have a higher rate of reliability than any other existing tests”, said Dr Claire Guest, the charity’s director of operations

“We know their sense of smell is extraordinary. They can detect parts per trillion; that’s the equivalent of one drop of blood in two Olympic-size swimming pools”.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in the UK, and the fourth most lethal form of the disease, with 41,726 diagnoses and 10,837 deaths recorded in 2011.

It is estimated that one in eight men will contract it in their lifetimes.

There is currently no single test for the disease. Doctors usually carry out blood tests, which can indicate increased risk, but are not a reliable indicator, as well as biopsies and invasive examinations.

Research has found the blood tests fail to detect prostate cancer in up to 20 per cent of men who are suffering from it and give a false positive in as many as one in eight cases.

It means men can be forced to undergo repeated tests before getting the all-clear, or can end up enduring surgery which might have been avoided.

The screening will be offered as an optional second-line test to patients who will also be offered conventional tests.

If it is successful, two national UK cancer clinics, The Graham Fulford Charitable Trust and the Prostate Cancer Support Group, will introduce it to their three clinics across the country.

Dogs have also been shown to have success in detecting other forms of cancer like bladder, renal and breast cancer.

Medical Detection Dogs hopes that eventually dogs will be able to screen a single urine sample for multiple cancers, streamlining the current separate, costly tests for each form of the disease.

They also hope that the NHS will adopt the technique, if it is shown to proved to be successful.

Last month the head of the health service endorsed new proposals to improve early diagnosis of cancer.

The pledges include a target to give 95 per cent of patients referred for cancer tests a definitive diagnosis within four weeks, as part of plans to cut cancer-related deaths by 30,000 by 2020.

Daily Telegraph

My Dad, who has had a couple of skin cancers removed, was asked to assist this research project when he went back to the hospital for a follow up appointment.
He was pleased to help and went through a long interview concerning many aspects of his life.

Medical Detection Dogs

Incidentally, Dad wanted to know what had caused his skin cancers. The consultant asked if he had substantial exposure to sunlight in his past.
He could only think of his service in the Royal Navy in WW2 mostly in the Indian Ocean. The Doc said that was highly likely to be the cause.
Over seventy years on!
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