Graciously, after years as a senator and vice president, Joe Biden has vowed to defeat cancer. once and for all. But only if he’s elected President of the United States next year.
That would be a wondrous thing, even for a Democrat who falsely promised tens of thousands of new stimulus jobs back in 2010.
But just in case Biden loses, as poll leaders at this early stage usually do, medical researchers are working on an alternate path to diagnosing cancers early: Beagles.
All dogs have far better noses than humans. Especially those great trackers beagles. Dogs rarely share what they’ve deciphered from numerous sniffs, even from butts.
But now researchers with the American Osteopathic Association have determined that beagles can detect cancer by scent from a patient’s blood. With — wait for it — a 97 percent accuracy!
After only three weeks of training, a trio of beagles using just their God-given sensitive noses, were able to detect the difference between blood serum from healthy patients and from those suffering from malignant lung cancer, the leading cause of death for both men and women globally. Almost without fail.
As you might imagine, doggie treats as rewards are far cheaper and more immediate than existing time-consuming blood tests.
According to the study’s lead author, Thomas Quinn of Lake Erie College:
We are using the dogs to sort through the layers of scent until we identify the tell-tale bio-markers. There is still a great deal of work ahead, but we’re making good progress.
Early cancer detection drastically improves patient survival rates. Existing lung cancer tests like CT scans and chest X-rays have a high false positive rate, not to mention the elapsed time and expenses they require.
The BT’s (Beagle Tests) have been so successful, that Dr. Quinn and colleagues have expanded their doggie research into the canines identifying lung, breast and colorectal cancers using samples of patients’ breath collected through a face mask. Early results show an equally high accuracy rate.
Right now it appears dogs have a better natural ability to screen for cancer than our most advanced technology. Once we figure out what they know and how, we may be able to catch up.