Dogs Detecting Cancer


That could be the reason I have four of the darlings in my house, but it’s not.  I just happen to be one of those people who have turned my pets into one of the family.  Since studies have determined that dogs can smell cancer, maybe I should get more dogs. This is where you hear my husband scream “NO”.  He’s just not reasonable sometimes.  Back to the cancer studies.  It seems the research on the dog’s ability to detect cancer started in 1984, with doctors using urine from bladder cancer patients.    By the way, there was also normal urine involved.   Each dog was given seven urine samples to sniff (yuck).  If the dog determined the patient had cancer it would lie down by the specimen.  These were well-trained dogs, they couldn’t use my dogs.  Mine would dump the urine in the floor and bring me the bowl.

Sorry, I keep getting sidetracked.  According to the results of the study which was repeated eight times, those dogs picked the cancer patients forty-one percent of the time.  There is also a multiple cases of dogs detecting skin cancers, including  melanoma.

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. If it is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable, but if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that at present, about 120,000 new cases of melanoma in the US are diagnosed in a year. In 2010, about 68,130 of these were invasive melanomas, with about 38,870 in males and 29, 260 in women.

Melanoma originates in melanocytes, the cells which produce the pigment melanin that colors our skin, hair, and eyes. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but often they can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white.

These statistics are directly from the Skin Cancer Foundation at

The research is ongoing using the dogs, but there are now dogs in training as practitioners to detect cancer.  The documents I  read seemed to indicate that skin cancers were the easiest for the dogs to sniff out.

I am going to have a real problem now when someone comes to the house to visit.  If my dogs are persistent about smelling areas on a vistor, do I recommend they go to a physician to be checked, because dogs can smell cancer, uh, maybe not.  That’s my two-cents for today.

About shirleymclain930

I'm a retired RN enjoying my retirement to the fullest. I liked adventure and travel and making friends. I have 6 dogs and 1 cat. They are like having a house full of three years olds. Now for the rest of the story. My Granddaughter and her husband now live with us and they have 4 dogs and 4 cats along with a giant Flemish Rabbit. My Granddaughter has now added beautiful, Olivia to our household. My fourth Great Grandchild. They are a large part of my life and I can't imagine them not being around. I spend most of my time sitting in front of my computer working on my latest book or talking about Essential Oils. On the personal side, I'm married to a wonderful man who spoils me and I love it. I am very much a country girl. I love living on our 5 acres on Pole Cat Creek watching the deer and other animals occasionally stick their​ heads out of the trees. It's a fun life.
  • Doug says:

    No, don’t recommend doctors visit at an persistent sniff…

    You have four puppies… cool.


    • Hi Doug, thanks for dropping by. I hope you are doing well. I am battening down for a winter storm coming in to night. Here in the Dallas area, we don’t get to many of those. Have a great evening. Shirley