A New Transcutaneous Method for Breast Cancer Detection with Dogs

Oncology. 2019;96(2):110-113. doi: 10.1159/000492895. Epub 2018 Oct 2.


We developed a new transcutaneous method for breast cancer detection with dogs: 2 dogs were trained to sniff skin secretion samples on compresses that had been worn overnight by women on their breast, and to recognize a breast cancer sample among 4 samples. During the test, the dogs recognized 90.3% of skin secretion breast cancer samples. This proof-of-concept study opens new avenues for the development of a reliable cancer diagnostic tool integrating olfactory abilities of dogs.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Detection; Dog; Sniffer dog.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Smell*
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis*
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / metabolism


  • Volatile Organic Compounds