Forbes Magazine published a great article entitled “How Dogs Smell Cancer and What It Means For the Future of Diagnosis” on March 24th, 2016. Molecular biologist and genomics researcher, Adriana Heguy, writes that dogs have very sensitive noses and by using their heightened sense of smell, they detect altered metabolism in humans, created by Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) that are commonly seen in cancer.
The dogs smell VOC’s! Recall, if you will, that many mold detection companies use mold sniffing dogs to detect mold lurking under carpets and behind kitchen cabinets. What you may not know is that VOC’s are also emitted from mold, yeast and fungi, so VOC’s are not exclusive to cancer.
Dogs are not trained to detect cancer or mold. They are trained to detect VOC’s, no matter what produces them. This same article states that different cancers produce different VOC’s. Colon cancer patients, for example, exhale VOC’s, so their cancer can apparently be detected in their breath. One day, it will be well accepted that many colon cancer patients have severely altered gut terrains and probiotics and a changed diet will offer far more hope than immune system suppressing therapies.
VOC’s are just one of many similarities that exist when linking mold to cancer. So, what’s the difference between a mold-sniffing dog and a cancer-sniffing dog? My guess is that mold-sniffing dogs get minimum wage and cancer-sniffing dogs easily make 7 figures annually.