You may wonder whether there is any smell of colon cancer (especially at its early stage) so thus you can treat it as soon as possible for better prognosis! Like in diabetes, cancer has its own smell. But it’s not easy to catch this smell, especially for cancers that affect internal organs such as bowel cancers (including colon and rectal cancers).
Today, doctors and health practitioners are more likely to use advanced imaging methods and detection of lumps to help diagnose cancer. While some work effectively, others doesn’t accurate enough to provide reliable diagnosis. Furthermore, the problem is that by the time they have reason to order a scan or another conventional test, it is often too late.
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Diagnosing a cancer as early as possible is so essential! Because at early stages of the disease, the treatment is most likely to work and therefore can provide better outlook and prognosis for patient.
Almost all diseases, believe it or not, have a specific smell. Throughout history, healthy practitioners have sniffed patient’s urine, stool, breath, and other secretions to help with diagnoses.
The place where cancer grows in the body may also have an effect. Change in the breath smell is more likely effective to help diagnose health conditions in the lungs such as lung cancer. Change in the urine smell is more identic with abnormal condition in bladder. And change in the stool smell tends to be associated with something that goes awry with the bowel.
However, these changes also can describe problems in other parts of the body. For instance, breath odor doesn’t always link to problems in the lungs. The same goes for smell changes of urine, stool, sweat, or other bodily fluids.
Some studies have done, and the following are specific smells of some diseases [reference]:
- Breath of people with liver failure usually smells like raw fish.
- Skin of people with yellow fever, it smells like butcher’s shop.
- Schizophrenia, vinegar (mildly acid).
- People with diabetes, their breath smells like nail-polish remover.
- In people with bladder infection, their urine usually smells like ammonia (like what we found in window cleaner).
The smell of cancer that affects internal organs may be relatively more difficult to sniff than when it affects external organs! But this is not the point. The major goal is to catch it as early as possible through its smell.
Even though cancer affects our external organs, such as in skin cancer, most human noses often fail to smell it – particularly when cancer is still at its early stage! Our noses have about 5 million scents of receptors. But some animals have noses that are thousands of times as sensitive as ours.
A number of recent years, some studies observe the ability of dogs to help diagnose cancer and other diseases. In fact, dogs have about 300 million scent receptions, much more sensitive than we have.
Nowadays, some dogs are trained for this job. But this is not the end of the goal.
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However we may soon be able to easy and early diagnose cancer by smell. Hopefully, someday scientists will find a practical device that can work as well as the nose of dog or even work better.
Disease has ability to subtly alter the body’s fragrance. In normal and healthy course of metabolism, waste products are swept out through several ways such as urine, stool, breath, or even just simply evaporated into the air above the skin through sweating.
Diabetes is a metabolism disorder. It can affect your normal metabolism and make that exhaust particularly stinky. Disorder that affects digestive enzyme tends to cause musty odor – and so on!
Cancer cells also have an effect on metabolism, though they don’t alter it overall! They can subtly alter metabolisms themselves. This means substances they generate could be different from those released by normal cells.
In other words, cancer cells usually have different metabolism from healthy cells. They can emit different pattern of substances, and therefore they may cause different odor.
How about colon cancer? Since it affects colon (internal organ), smell is not easy to detect by your nose when the disease is still at very early stage. What’s more?