Canine olfactory detection of malignant melanoma

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Our patient is a 75-year-old man who presented after his pet dog licked persistently at an asymptomatic lesion behind his right ear. Examination revealed a nodular lesion in the postauricular sulcus. Histology confirmed malignant melanoma, which was subsequently excised. Canine olfactory detection of human malignancy is a well-documented phenomenon. Advanced olfaction is hypothesised to explain canine detection of bladder, breast, colorectal, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers. Further research in this area may facilitate the development of a highly accurate aid to diagnosis for many malignancies, including melanoma.

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