Golden Retriever and Other Dog Breeds are Trained to Smell Lung Cancer

Six dog classes including golden retriever, giant schnauzer, german shepherd, labrador, havanese, and large munsterlander are being trained for six months by the Austrian and German researchers to detect lung cancer by sniffling breath samples from 122 test volunteers.
Golden Retriever and Other Dog Breeds are Trained to Smell Lung Cancer

(Photo: Pexel)

Recent study at the Journal of Breath Research about lung cancer detection discovers that dogs may NOT be as precise as projected at sensing the disease.

Out of the 122 volunteers, 29 of them have been identified with lung cancer, while the rest had no indications of the disease. The sniffing test was performed by 6 dog breeds, and scientists said that 78.6% of the time, the dogs correctly recognized the samples who had cancer, but then, only 34.4% of the time they were able to sense the negative samples. This means, the sniffing test results were not 100% accurate.

The test was executed double-blind just to be fair. Researchers suggest that the double-blind procedure may have been the cause of the poor success rate.

Study co-author Klaus Hackner, from Krems University Hospital in Austria, admitted in a statement: “Our dogs made mistakes with both positive and negative samples. One important reason for the inferior results might be that a true double-blind situation puts a lot of stress on the animals and their handlers.”

The scientists believe that those dogs can improve their detection success rate if they were given a program intended to reward them more every so often.

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