Ovarian cancer has a high mortality rate, primarily due to late diagnosis. Important research published in the June issue of Integrative Cancer Therapies explores whether ovarian cancer has a scent different from other cancers and whether working dogs could be taught to distinguish it in its different stages.
Recent studies have shown that dogs have successfully detected cancer, but it wasn't clear whether the dogs were responding to the cancer itself or to other odors associated with the cancer. With this new research, the question was answered:
"[Researchers] found that the odor of ovarian cancer does seem to differ from those of other gynecological malignancies, such as cervical, or endometrial cancers, suggesting that a particular, distinguishable scent is associated with ovarian cancer. They additionally found that early-stage and low grade ovarian cancers emit the same scent as advanced tumors."