Chemotherapy (sometimes called chemo) uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. The greatest advantage to chemotherapy is its control over the spread of cancer since it is delivered throughout the body in the bloodstream. It is even more effective when combined with surgery or radiation therapy. The worst disadvantage of chemotherapy is the unpleasant side effects such as nausea, hair loss and extreme discomfort. A second disadvantage is that chemicals must be carefully selected depending on the type and stage of the cancer.
Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy is the use of a certain type of energy (radiation) from x-rays, gamma rays, electrons and other sources to destroy cancer cells. Destroys quickly dividing cells at the margins of tumors. Surgery may miss these cells leading to recurrence of disease. Postoperative radiation therapy can destroy cancer cells still present around the margins after a tumor has been surgically removed. Fatigue (in part due to energy expended in replacing normal cells killed in the process) Skin irritation, redness, lesions, peeling, Hair loss, Loss of Taste.
Targeted Therapy Targeted therapy uses drugs to target specific molecules (for example, proteins) that help cancer cell growth. These drugs stop the growth and spread of cancer cells but don’t damage as many normal cells. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors block certain proteins that are involved in cancer cell growth. Apoptosis inducing drugs help destroy Cancer cells. These drugs can help chemotherapy work well. flu-like symptoms diarrhea fatigue skin rash swelling or puffiness Cancer tumours produce alkanes and how dogs are able to detect theses compounds
Tumors are known to produce certain chemicals called alkanes, which normal cells don’t produce. An alkane is a type of carbon atom with certain characteristics. Methane, the gas that cows emit which contributes to feedlot stench is an alkane. Dogs, with their keen olfactory sense, can detect the presence of specific chemicals in the parts per billion ranges so it is not far fetched to learn that they could detect minute amounts of specific chemicals in the breath of lung cancer patients. In fact, that is exactly what they have been trained to do.
Three studies regarding the efficiency of cancer-sniffing dogs 1. Dogs sniff out Lung cancer A dog can accurately detect the early presence of lung cancer by sniffing patients’ breath, doctors in Germany say. While researchers have known for some time that dogs can sniff out the telltale signs of other forms of cancer, this is the first study that proves dogs can reliably smell this particular kind. In fact, the results of the studies show that dogs have a 99 percent accuracy rate in detecting lung cancer and breast cancer. With a sniffer that ranges from 10,000 to 100,000 times better than humans, what you can’t smell, your dog can.
2. Dogs sniff out Breast Cancer Some early detectors of breast cancer say their dog is responsible for sniffing out the problem. The insinuation that dogs can smell breast cancer led to several research studies. Since dogs have been known to sniff out other health problems and other cancers in humans, detecting breast cancer is not that far-fetched. To perform the breast cancer sniffing study, some dogs were borrowed from the organization, Guide Dogs for the Blind. The dogs were trained to sniff out breast cancer and lung cancer through a three-week training course.
Human patients, 86 in total, were used in the study. The patients had been diagnosed with cancer, but had not yet started any kind of treatment. Mixed in with the cancer patients were 83 other humans who did not have cancer. Each human was asked to breathe into a test tube, which was capped and then presented to the dog. The dog would not react to test tubes of the noncancerous patients, but would sit or lay down when sniffing test tubes of the cancer patients. As an added bonus, dogs seem to be able to sniff cancer at any stage—be it early or late.
This means that dogs may be able to help in the early detection of breast cancer and other cancers so patients can obtain treatment and possibly save their lives. 3. Dogs sniff out Cancer in Urine In a 2004 study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers trained dogs to detect bladder cancer from urine samples. The group used urine samples from 36 patients with bladder cancer, and 108 control samples from cancer-free individuals. Six dogs of varying ages and breeds underwent a seven month training course in cancer detection, carried out by trainers from Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.
In the final, double-blind experiment, each dog underwent nine separate tests in which they were shown an array of seven urine samples, one of which was cancerous, and told to lie down next to the cancerous one. The dogs correctly identified the cancer sample on 22 out of 54 occasions. This success rate of 41% is much higher than the 14% expected from chance alone. [iv] In the course of this research one of the the dogs kept identifying one of control samples, even though the donor had tested negative for bladder cancer.
This led to further testing and that donor was found to have a kidney tumor. We have Interesting but far from impressive results. The newest studies are different. Citation http://www. winabc. org/dogs-sniff-out-breast-cancer. htm Breast Cancer http://www. denvernaturopathic. com/news/dogs. html Dogs can smell cancer http://www. popsci. com/science/article/2011-08/german-researchers-prove-dogs-can-smell-lung-cancer Dogs Can Reliably Sniff Out Lung Cancer, German Study Shows Questions and Answers 1. Alkanes created by cancer tumours in the breath as tumor markers in lung cancer.
Alkanes and monomethylated alkanes are oxidative stress products that are excreted in the breath, the catabolism of which may be accelerated by polymorphic cytochrome p450-mixed oxidase enzymes that are induced in patients with lung cancer. 2. Dogs have powerful noses, perhaps among the most sensitive in the natural world, able to detect certain chemicals alkanes in the part per trillion ranges. Probably more sensitive than scientific instruments; we don’t see blood hounds being replaced in the near future. Those dogs could be trained to detect these alkanes more accurately than an electronic instrument is not far-fetched.
Dogs have certainly proven their mettle at detecting hidden explosives and drugs 3. advantages and disadvantages of using dogs to detect cancer Advantages So, what’s the point of the dogs? Well, for one thing, scientists don’t yet know exactly how having cancer might change your breath, which means they don’t know what to look for. So it’s tough to build a machine—an “electronic nose”—that’s specifically tailored to look for cancer. There are electronic noses out there that just look for overall differences in odors, rather than specific chemicals, but so far, they haven’t matched the accuracy of the dogs.
(One device, tested recently at the Cleveland Clinic, was 66 percent accurate in diagnosing cancer. ) Disadvantages The challenge is to figure out what chemicals to look for. That’s tougher than it sounds, because the smell of cancer is probably made up of many different odor-causing chemicals. (This is true of most smells in the real world as well. ) What’s more, each type of cancer may have a unique chemical signature. It will take many more experiments—involving humans, dogs, and machines—to find just the right formula. But if it works, it could make screening for deadly diseases a lot cheaper and easier.
4. I think that studies on cancer sniffing dogs are reliable because since dogs have excellent noses and are easily trained to recognize just about any odor, the dogs are like odor-detecting machines that the scientists don’t have to build. 5. Yes, I think that dogs will be assist health care professionals in the detecting of cancer in the near future, because the researchers exposed the dogs to breath samples from known cancer patients and breath samples from healthy patients, and simply rewarded them for picking out the cancer breath.
Once the dogs got the hang of it, the researchers conducted a “double-blind” trial, where the origin of the breath samples was concealed not just from the dogs, but also from the researchers themselves. With the dogs achieving up to 99 percent accuracy in the double-blind trials, the experiment shows that it should be possible to build a breath-diagnosing machine that gets it right just about every time.