Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Forget the Colonoscopy! Let Fido Sniff Your Poop!

Colonoscopy, anyone? Personally, I think a root canal is more fun.

Not only that, but recent evidence suggests the test is not even accurate.
A study cited in the Annals of Internal Medicine says that "the test missed just about every cancer in the right side of the colon...and it also missed roughly a third of cancers in the left side of the colon." 

A stool sample is less invasive, but can catch only about 10% of early-stage cancers. A black lab named Marine, on the other hand, was able to identify bowel cancer with 98% accuracy when she was given poop to sniff, and her highest success rate was in detecting it early.

Dr. Hideta Sonoda, who led the research done at Kyushu University, said, "It may be difficult to introduce canine scent judgment into clinical practice owing to the expense and time required for the dog trainer and dog education." 

They're going to develop an "electronic nose" instead--if only they can figure out exactly what the dog is detecting.

In the meantime, the article concludes, Get a colonoscopy!
http://jms.rsmjournals.com/content/14/3/132.full.pdf (If you can actually understand this one, let me know.)