Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Hounds of Medicine

Earlier this week I had a business dinner at Harvey's in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis. Little did both of us know there was a live band,, playing at a fundraiser for the "Three Day Race for the Cure" to fight breast cancer -- I purchased some raffle tickets to support the cause and ending up winning a gift certificate to Harvey's -- not a bad way to build your customer base and get a tax deduction :)

Sometimes the world offers amazing connections because while reading the "Life" magazine insert in the next morning's newspaper I read a short article entitled, "Sniffing Out Cancer", which focused on the ability of dogs to detect early-stage breast cancer simply by sniffing patients. Apparently researchers in California will publish a report in March 2006 in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies which shows that "trained Labrador retrievers and Portuguese water dogs" were able to detect the following:

  • Early and late-stage breast cancer with 88 percent accuracy
  • Lung cancer with 99 percent accuracy

Some initial thoughts for consumers and policy makers based on my quick report of this forthcoming report:

  • Smokers should buy a Lab or water dog this week :)
  • The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure should integrate these California researchers and dogs into future events
  • Insurance companies should adopt a more holistic approach to health care by working with veterinarians and medical doctors to incorporate dogs like these into prevention plans by adjusting reimbursement policies that allow the medical system to explore new, innovative solutions such as this one appears to be.

Research not resistance,


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