Is there anything man’s best friend can’t do? It’s possible that dogs could help detect thyroid cancer, which could replace expensive and invasive diagnostic tools in the future. Frankie, a German Shepherd mix, can detect cases of thyroid cancer from patients’ urine samples with about 90% accuracy. Got your attention?
Current diagnostic techniques can involve needle biopsies and molecular testing. But if dogs could be trained to sniff out the chemical components of thyroid cancer in a patient’s urine, it’s possible that cancer could be detected at earlier stages and possibly prevent unnecessary surgical interventions.
It’s important to note that Frankie is just working in the “research and development” stage now. His accuracy has been close to 90%, and while researchers aren’t ready to use dogs in this context in a medical setting, his results have been enough to turn heads. This isn’t the first time that animals have been trained to detect cancer or other diseases, and it’s amazing to see how a dog could potentially be a life-saver- literally- to a human! Read more about Frankie and this research here.