Women's Health

The Roles Animals Can Play in Treating Ovarian Cancer

Dogs and cancer detection

Dogs and cancer detection

In closing, we’ll now find out about Dina Zaphiris, B.S. Psychology, UC Davis, a noted researcher and established dog trainer who has played a large part in research on the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer. In the Amazon review of her book, The Behavior Savior: The Enlightened Path to the Perfect Pet, we read of her positive reinforcement techniques for training dogs.

It is her excellent training technique that has allowed Dina to be “the first American dog trainer to train dogs for federally funded studies involving dogs detecting early stage human cancer.”

Although we stumble on the information that “people noticed long ago that illness had a unique smell, and that Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, famously sniffed his patients,” Dina’s work is a groundbreaker in America’s diagnosis of cancer. 

On Dina’s website, we learn she “has trained over 24 dogs to detect early stage cancer in humans, and has participated in federally, as well as privately funded studies. Dina is the founder of her non-profit, a 501c3, In Situ Foundation, dedicated to training dogs to detect early stage human cancer, and publishing research”.

In a 2003 collaboration with Duke University, Dina was “involved with screening over 2000 samples for breast cancer, and determining the dogs’ ability and accuracy levels to distinguish malignant from benign blood samples … in an effort to detect early stage lung and breast cancer” with 99% accuracy. The study is published in the Journal of Integrative Cancer Therapies.