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 Can you smell skin cancer ?
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103 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2007 :  00:47:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am not sure where this should go but Does skin cancer have a smell that you can smell? Yea or Nay ?

I say skin cancer has a strong smell..But not all the time....When you are treating skin cancer I think it has a sweet sicking kind of smell

Edited by - fforest on 09/24/2007 02:03:37


1 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2008 :  02:25:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've had skin cancer in the last year and told I no longer have it after surgery, but in the last two months I can smell something that is not right and to make sure it was not something in my immediate invironment I experimented and I know it's within me and I am scared. I know.
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603 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  22:41:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, you are not imagining the smell....

According to ,

Scientists have identified a characteristic odor profile given off by skin-cancer tumors, which might one day allow diagnosis by a wave of a detector across the skin.

Scientists have long surmised that tumors give off a unique smell, thanks to studies showing that dogs have the ability to sniff out melanomas and other cancers. For example, Armand Cognetta, a dermatologist in Tallahassee, FL, trained a dog to find melanoma samples hidden around a room, as well as detect melanomas on skin-cancer patients. "The dogs were definitely smelling something, and nobody has been able to pinpoint what it could be," says Michelle Gallagher, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, and now a senior scientist at Rohm & Haas, a materials company in Spring House, PA.

So Gallagher and her advisor, Monell chemist George Preti, set out to identify the odor markers. Working with dermatologists at the University of Pennsylvania, Gallagher and Preti recruited 11 people with basal cell carcinoma for the study, as well as controls matched for age, gender, and ethnicity. The volunteers went through a weeklong "wash-out" process in which they used fragrance-free shampoo and soap and wore T-shirts provided by the researchers to eliminate odors from external sources.

The researchers then collected odor samples by placing a funnel with an absorbent fiber over the volunteers' skin for 30 minutes. They also washed the skin with an alcohol solution to collect compounds sitting on the surface. "We found two chemicals in particular that were significantly different when you compared a cancer patient with a healthy subject," Gallagher says. Both compounds were present in the healthy volunteers, but one compound was at a higher concentration and the other at a lower concentration above the tumors in the cancer patients. The researchers presented their findings at the American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia in August 2008.

"We're the first to identify and quantify the compounds involved in skin cancer odors," Gallagher says in a news release.

The researchers hope their findings will allow them to use an electronic nose -- a nanosensor that can detect tiny quantities of volatile compounds -- to detect skin cancers. Gallagher says the device would work like the fictional "tricorder" in the Star Trek TV series, which would beep when waved over skin cancer.

So far, the researchers have developed an odor profile only for basal cell carcinoma. They're working on profiles for the more serious squamous cell cancer and for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
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Disclaimer: The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While melanoma is the most dangerous type, keep in mind that any cancer and potentially some cancer treatments can cause injury or death. The various views expressed in these public forums should not be considered as medical advice. See your qualified health-care professional for medical attention, advice, diagnosis, and treatments.