KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Medical Editor

READ MORE: La Salle Coach Raises Awareness For Daughter With Leukemia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We spend tens of millions of dollars each year on CAT scans – as well as many other tests – but what about the dog scan?

No, I have not lost my mind –but I could not resist a fun play on words.

READ MORE: Single-Car Crash In Cheltenham Township Leaves 1 Person Dead, 4 Others Injured

Dogs are becoming an increasingly important tool in health care because of their sense of smell. For decades dogs have been used to sniff out narcotics. But researchers have learned that they also seem to be able to detect cancer because of that same sense of smell.

Dogs can distinguish among chemical differences that linger in the breath of a person with cancer.

MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Weather: Fast Storm System To Bring Snow To Parts Of Delaware Valley Sunday Evening

This is not as specific as many more sophisticated test but research dollars are being spent to see creative ways that dogs may be of help.