Dogs as Cancer Detectors

  • Dawn A. Marcus

Key Chapter Points

Screening for cancer by detecting biomarkers of early disease is an important aspect of cancer care. Humans have tapped into dogs’ abilities to detect and identify scents for hunting and tracking, search and rescue, and police and military assistance.

  • Dogs have superior ability to detect and recognize weak concentrations of odors.

  • Nasal anatomy and genome features may help explain canine sniffing abilities.

  • Dogs have been reported to successfully identify several types of cancer.

  • Laboratory analysis of volatile gases can be used to differentiate cancer from noncancer cells, supporting an ability to identify some cancers based on smell analysis.


Alert Gas chromatography Mass spectroscopy Olfactory Smellprints Volatile organic compounds 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawn A. Marcus
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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