Diagnosing Cancer With A Dog's Nose

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

Several studies have suggested that dogs are able to discern between healthy and cancerous tissue. They have sniffed blood plasma, urine, and even people's breaths, and seem to detect the tiny molecules that indicate a tumor. Their abilities aren't exclusive to a single cancer type—they've been able to identify prostate cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer, to name a few. Scientists hope that studying these talented canines will lead to improvements in our own cancer-sensing technology.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Cancer cells produce waste products that give off a noticeable odor for dogs. 01:21

  2. Dogs seem to be able to sense when someone's blood-sugar levels are low or about to drop dangerously. 03:11

  3. When afraid, humans sweat, produce adrenaline, and emit pheromones, all of which dogs are able to detect. 05:35

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.