I thought I read it in the Star the other day but the study is being published all over the news so it may be a new study on an old subject. I first heard of the abilities years ago from a trainer. Any Google search on "dogs cancer" will bring up the new press on the research.
The results were pretty good and this should indicate how easily they can do it. Why Portuguese Water dogs I don't know.
"In this study, five ordinary household dogs -- three Labrador retrievers and two Portuguese water dogs -- were taught over three weeks using reward training to sniff out the disease. None of the dogs had any previous sniffer training.
The Star article also mentions the 'liability factor' of using dogs over high priced medical equipment but hey .... you can always have both right?
Here is a reprint from the Hamilton Spectator
and the Star article.