(photo credit: Courtesy)
Somewhere in Southern Israel, a first-of-its-kind venture trains dogs to locate early signs of cancer.
The name of the laboratory is "Dog Prognose". It allows a person to send a saliva sample (in a small plastic container), and receive an immediate answer as to whether they have cancer. The cost of the test is NIS 399, just a little over $100.
Uri Bakeman, professional dog trainer and owner of the laboratory, told Army Radio
that "the most important issue is that this test detects the disease at its earliest stage, since the dogs can identify the characteristic signs of the smell of the disease. If the dog sits down after sniffing the sample, it means it is suspicious."
In a recent study conducted by Prof. Pesach Schwartzman of Ben-Gurion University, it was determined that various types of cancer share an odor that dogs are capable of identifying.
A famous case involved Daisy, a dog who managed to correctly identify 500 cases of cancer, and smell a total of 6,500 samples. Daisy, who worked for "Medical Detection Dogs"- a foundation in the UK - passed away last year.
Daisy was a pioneer in sniffing out cancer cells in breath and urine samples, and even detected her owner's breast cancer in its early stages.
In 2014, Daisy was awarded the centenary edition of the Blue Cross medal for saving hundreds of lives.