Can Dogs Really Detect Cancer in Humans?
All dogs noses are better than ours at detecting very low concentrations of odor, but some breeds are better still. Hounds and other sniff-specialists can detect odors that are present in as little as a few parts per trillion.

Can Dogs Really Detect Cancer in Humans?

The dog’s nose is an amazing organ, with abilities and features far superior to our own in many ways. First are the physical adaptations of the nose itself. The inside of the dog’s nose is lined with many folds of tissue (called the olfactory epithelium), which in turn contain hundreds of millions of olfactory receptors, specialized cells responsible for detecting odors. Because of the increased surface area caused by these folds, the dog’s nose contains a ridiculously high number of receptor cells when compared to the human nose; on average, the dog has about 220 million, while our noses harbor a paltry 5 million. This difference contributes to the dog’s ability to detect almost impossibly minute concentrations of compounds, by some estimates in concentrations as low as parts per trillion.

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