The following are general frequently asked questions:
Can one of your dogs sniff me and tell me if I have cancer?
Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to be “screened” by the dogs involved in our research. At this time, it is also not recommended that dogs be used as a primary screening method for cancer; there are simply too many uncertainties and vagaries with the concept to make it a viable or meaningful tool for detection right now. It is our hope, however, that the concepts explored in our research may help develop more accurate cancer screening methods in the future.
Can I meet the dogs?
The dogs on our trained dog team are “at work” training for this study and need their full concentration during this time. Therefore, they are not available for visits from the public. Occasionally, we seek volunteers to work with the trained dog team for light equipment set-up, tear down, and to help walk the dogs. If you are available to volunteer on Mondays from 10am-3pm please call (415) 342-0886 to ask about volunteering with the trained dog team.
What do I do if my dog starts demonstrating unusual behavior around me?
Numerous anecdotal reports have been published and televised documenting individual cases in which dogs began to display persistent and animated behavior around specific body locations on their owners. These behaviors, on subsequent medical evaluation, proved to be accurate, and in some cases life-saving, early warning signs of cancers such as those of the breast and skin (melanoma). Therefore, should your dog display such behavior around a person, we do recommend medical follow-up.
Can you teach me to train my own dog to detect cancer?
While many people have expressed interest in training their dogs for cancer detection, there are various legal and ethical considerations one must address prior to engaging in this sort of training, including what a person would then do with a dog who has received such training. Our own training is still in the research stages…we are not at the point where we’re screening actual people for cancer just yet.
My dog detected my cancer. How can I share my story with you?
We’re always interested to hear personal anecdotes. Please send your story through our Contact Us page.
Do you have any research programs/facilities in my area?
Our training takes place exclusively in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The following are frequently asked questions about our current research project on canine scent detection of ovarian cancer:
What do women breath through?
Women breath into a disposable “rTube” handheld device which is similar in shape to a snorkel and is connected to a commercial grade air purifier. Most women relax or read while holding the rTube and breathing into it at a natural and relaxed pace.