nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sniffing Out Cancer; No Longer Dependent On Canines.

This is kinda funny if it weren't for the fact that cancer is very "not funny."

Apparently ovarian cancer tissue smells different from normal tissue.  How researchers figured that out, I don't know.  It reminds me of the Old Days in medicine when doctors would taste their patients' urine; if the urine was sweet-tasting, they made the diagnosis of diabetes.  The high blood sugar of diabetes would spill over into the urine.

But apparently these guys not only have "perceived" this difference, they published an article a while back showing that dogs (whose sense of smell is considerable) could distinguish the cancerous from normal tissue.

Thankfully, we don't have to rely on crotch-smelling dogs.  Our intrepid scientists have designed an electronic sniffer that can possibly be used in the clinical setting (see Future Oncology, June 2010) .
"Our goal is to be able to screen blood samples from apparently healthy women and so detect ovarian cancer at an early stage when it can still be cured," says [Gyorgy] Horvath [lead investigator].  (Science Daily, Dec 21)

What a relief.  I saw dog universities springing up to train Fido's in the art of Private Parts diagnosis.  What breeds would we find to be better suited to sniffing up dresses?

I envisioned written clinical policy that said male dogs could only sniff out a diagnosis if another female dog was present as a chaperone.

I'm grateful to put that nightmare to bed.

Doc D

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