Japan Town Starts Cancer Tests Using Dogs
Kaneyama, Yamagata Pref., May 13 (Jiji Press)—A small town in northeastern Japan has launched for its residents a unique health checkup program using dogs to sniff out cancer.
The town of Kaneyama, Yamagata Prefecture, became the first municipality in the country to introduce screening tests by cancer-sniffing dogs, according to the town.
The Mogami region of northern Yamagata, where the town is located, suffered the country's highest stomach cancer mortality rate for women.
Kaneyama Mayor Suzuki Hiroshi was looking for ways to lower the mortality rate when he came to know the screening method utilizing dogs, which some believe can detect the disease by scent. He decided to introduce the testing for some 1,000 town residents aged 40 and up.
On Friday, the town collected urine samples from residents who underwent the town's conventional checkups and agreed to receive cancer testing based on dogs' abilities to detect odors unique to cancer sufferers.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]