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Man's best friend in the fight against cancer

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Milton Keynes University Hospital has recently given the go-ahead for further trials of dogs detecting prostate cancer. A trial revealed that specially trained dogs have a 93 per cent success rate in detecting prostate tumours from urine samples.

The current Prostate-Specific Antigen test has a high “false positive” rate meaning that men are often referred for further invasive procedures which are ultimately unnecessary. It is thought that dogs, whose sense of smell is vastly superior to that of humans, are able to detect volatile molecules in the urine associated with prostate tumours and that they could be used to determine whether a biopsy is needed following a positive PSA test.

If these further trials prove a success, then man’s best friend could soon be an innovative new tool in the fight against cancer. 

 By Gemma Crompton, clinical negligence trainee solicitor