Sniffing out cancer
Medical detection dogs were tested in their own training centre at KNGF. First, the dogs have been trained to detect intestinal cancer; during another phase of investigation they could also be deployed to track down lung or breast cancers. The dogs have now practised with the target scent, which they can detect in minuscule concentrations. The next phase involves working with specimens from the VU Medical Center. Then the dogs must differentiate between the stools of intestinal cancer patients and those from people without cancer.
According to KNGF, each dog tracks in its own fashion. One may take its time sniffing and then lie down near the tube it chooses. Another may run like crazy along the carrousel and, if it doesn’t find the right scent, go and sit near the door – with a glance at its trainer as if to say, ‘Let’s go; there’s nothing here.’