Skin-cancer tumors emit a specific odor that could help in early diagnosis of disease. People who are having tendency of bearing skin cancer must pass themselves through different examination tests and biopsies of suspicious moles so that tissues having disease could be detected and cured at an early stage of the disease. This new discovery gives a new way which is a quicker method to detect the disease without puncturing the skin or entering a body cavity. Researchers have found a characteristic odor coming out of the skin-cancer tumors.
Statistics show that more than a million skin cancer patients are diagnosed each year in America. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the common cancer types. But these types of cancer diseases are not fatal and not spread very much. Five percent of this whole statistics includes disease of Melanoma; it is a skin-cancer which is the fatal type and reported as the majority of skin-cancer deaths.
For a long time scientists believed that tumors give off a unique smell. Scientists also researched on dog’s smelling sense and found that they have ability to sniff out melanomas and other cancer diseases. It was practically proven by Armand Cognetta, who is a dermatologist in Tallahassee, FL. He trained a dog to smell melanoma; the dog could find melanoma samples hidden in a room and also detect them on the cancer patients.
Michelle Gallagher is a senior scientist at Rohm & Haas. So Gallagher and her advisor, Monell chemist George Preti, took the step to identify the odor markers. Gallagher and Preti joined 11 more people with them with basal cell carcinoma for this research work. All of them are working at the University of Pennsylvania with dermatologists.