Tag Archives: Lung cancer

Health- BBC: A dog has been used to sniff out thyroid cancer in people who had not yet been diagnosed, US researchers say.

Frankie the dogA dog has been used to sniff out thyroid cancer in people who had not yet been diagnosed, US researchers say.

Tests on 34 patients showed an 88% success rate in finding tumours.

The team, presenting their findings at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, said the animal had an “unbelievable” sense of smell.

Cancer Research UK said using dogs would be impractical, but discovering the chemicals the dogs can smell could lead to new tests.

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones to regulate metabolism.

Thyroid tumours are relatively rare and are normally diagnosed by testing hormone levels in the blood and by using a needle to extract cells for testing.

Smelly jobCancers are defective, out-of-control cells. They have their own unique chemistry and release “volatile organic compounds” into the body.

The canine approach relies on dogs having 10 times the number of smell receptors as people and being able to pick out the unique smells being released by cancers.

The man’s best friend approach has already produced promising results in patients with bowel and lung cancers.

A team at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) had previously showed that a dog could be trained to smell the difference between urine samples of patients with and without thyroid cancer.

Frankie the dogFrankie gave the correct diagnosis in 30 out of 34 cases

The next step was to see if it could be used as a diagnostic test.

Frankie the German Shepherd was trained to lie down when he could smell thyroid cancer in a sample and turn away if the urine was clean.

Thirty-four patients, who were going to hospital for conventional testing, took part in the trial.

Frankie gave the correct diagnosis in 30 out of 34 cases. There were two false positives and two patients who would have been incorrectly given the all-clear.

Dr Donald Bodenner, the chief of endocrine oncology at UAMS, said: “The capability of dogs to smell minute amounts is unbelievable.

“The medical community over the next few years is going to have a great appreciation [for them].

E-noseSome researchers are trying to strip out the canine-element and test for the unique pong of cancer with an “electronic nose”.

This approach is also being trailed outside of cancer and has been used to find dangerous infections such as Clostridium difficile.

Dr Bodenner added: “We would like to know what Frankie is smelling, nobody knows.”

Commenting on the findings Dr Jason Wexler, an endocrinologist in Washington, DC, argued: “This is a fascinating, interesting study and it has high potential in areas of the world that may not have access to biopsy techniques.

“There are many patients who are reluctant to undergo fine needle aspiration so I think that if you could design a technique where you have no invasive procedure that can have tremendous widespread appeal.”

But Dr Emma Smith, from Cancer Research UK, cautioned: “Although there’s some evidence that some trained dogs can sniff out the smelly molecules given off by cancers, there have been mixed results on how accurate they are and it’s not really practical to think about using dogs on a wide scale to detect the disease.

“But carrying out lab tests to understand what the dogs are smelling might help to inform the development of ‘electronic noses’ to detect the same molecules, which could lead to better diagnostic tests in the future.”

Dr Bodenner says it is an approach that he is actively pursuing.

Meanwhile, the lab is also trying to find a new home for canine-veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Instead of sniffing out bombs, they will be trained to hunt for cancer.


Symptoms of thyroid cancer

  • A painless lump or swelling at the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple
  • Unexplained hoarseness that doesn’t get better after a few weeks
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing that doesn’t get better
  • Pain in the neck

Source: NHS Choices


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I’m A Quitter: What About You?

WARNING: Reading the following may be contagious and may give you ideas that could help you QUIT SMOKING: Do not read, unless you can put your mind to it! Each failure to quit will only decrease the efficacy of the power over the outcome.

April Fools Day 1990, marks the day of my spiritual rebirth (one of them at least): That day, a Saturday, around 11 AM, I decided to stop smoking and have been a nonsmoker, ever since. The first few days were not easy, but believe it or not…Somehow I survived to tell the story. See, like other before me, I quit smoking few times before that day, but was not in the mood to really do it for good: seemed that I always “had chosen the wrong week to quit smoking” (Loyd Bridges-Airplane). This time It was different due to novel way of thinking I found myself exercising: To the part of me that was craving for a smoke, I told I was not a smoker. to the part of me saying I was a smoker just one hour earlier, I told that was one hour earlier, in the past, but now, I was not a smoker (you see, you have to be a smker to smoke, and you become a smoker only after your first cigarette). Funny enough: All the stories about not being able to enjoy coffee without a cigarette, and so on , all the self defeating thoughts, in other words, were just that thoughts…That’s the mechanism to talk yourself into doing things, of talking yourself out of doing them. Now that approach was new to me, and I do not hear about it in any of the programs, people, scare tactics about health effects, etc. NO, because nobody can tell you what to do… not even your parents (we all know that, unless, and untill we’re ready to accept the idea that not only we can, but that it is a must for a better quality of life.

What did I get out of that? Here are few positives:

  • my lungs got cleaned, as observed by the X-Rays I took through the years,
  • I decreased my higher risk of acquiring bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer to the general population
  • I enjoyed everything much, much more, as smoking was a permanent concern even while eating, or working, or entertainment.
  • I saved a lot of money, that help me do more healthy activities
  • better quality of life all around, including looking and feeling younger in few short days

The thought process applied in that enterprise, became prevalent and helped me carry out other goals, being so potently affirmative: It is amazing how much more and better an accomplishment we can have when finding the right thought process and putting it to work for you and not against:
Your mind may ask you give in, but unless you allow it the activity is just that: A thought not acted upon!
 Tip in how to quit smoking:

  • 1 (Just One)  Just stop, nobody else can do it for you, and there are no easier ways that this ONE.