Hope For Early Mesothelioma Detection From An Unlikely Source

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, once said, “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

For those suffering serious diseases caused by asbestos exposure, they may very well live to fight another day. All thanks to a specific breed of dog with olfactory abilities that surpass all other canines and is 10,000 times stronger than humans.

Dr. Thomas Quinn has a theory that specially trained beagles could one day literally sniff out mesothelioma. The clinical professor at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine put that notion to work, and the results showed that the dogs were able to detect lung cancer in blood serum with surprising accuracy.

Dr. Quinn thinks that the same methods could detect pleural mesothelioma.

After eight weeks of training, three beagles went to work. Their job was to identify the correct canister out of five, one containing a cancerous sample and other four serving as control samples. When the testing was over, the results saw canines standing behind the correct canister 97.5 percent of the time.

With the study published, the team embarked on two more studies that focused on breath testing for various forms of cancer using patients’ facemasks.

Both studies underscore a harsh reality. Mesothelioma diagnoses do not occur until 10 to 50 years following exposure to asbestos. Earlier detection can be life-saving for a life-changing, if not fatal disease.

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