Westminster Competitor May Have Detected Owner's Breast Cancer

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Diane Papazian of Staten Island, N.Y., was reluctant to bring home another dog, but was glad she did when the canine in question alerted her to a lump on her breast.

Westminster Dog Detects Cancer, Saves Owner's Life

Three years ago, Papazian and her family brought home Troy, a 4-month-old Doberman Pinscher. He joined the Papazians a month earlier than originally planned, and little did they know how much of a difference those few weeks would make.

"One night [Troy] was curled up between us in bed," Papazian said. "He kept nuzzling up against my left side. I itched myself, and then I popped up in bed and said, 'Holy cow! What's this?'"

Papazian located a lump in her left breast that was a little over an inch in diameter, which was surprising because a recent mammogram had given her a clean bill of health. She immediately went to her doctor and was able to start treatment soon thereafter for stage-two breast cancer. Papazian is now cancer-free and says that she owes the possible early detection to Troy.

"If the dog had come a month later or if we hadn't taken him, I don't know what would have happened," Papazian said.

Troy's canine connection with Papazian's cancer diagnosis is part of a growing study in the medical field.

Researchers have begun to examine the link between dogs and disease detection. With a sense of smell that is 1,000 to 100,000 times more acute than humans', dogs seem to be able to perceive illnesses much sooner than modern medicine.

Troy was certainly an important factor in Papazian's diagnosis, but his list of achievements does not stop there.

He is currently the ninth ranked Doberman Pinscher in the country and number one in the state of New York. He is competing in this year's 138th annual Westminster Dog Show, and he will next begin training as a therapy dog.

MORE ON PAWNATION: Guide to 2014 Westminster Dog Show

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Nothing like a Doberman :) I'm a bit biased though (my big red Dobe boy is sleeping next to me right now). Of course all dogs (and animals in general) are amazing and various pets have shown time and time again that they are so finely tuned to us and have a far better sense of smell than us that they can detect these kinds of things in time to save lives. So next time a beloved pet seems like they are trying to tell you something, listen. Even if it is a false alarm, it is better to be safe than sorry.

February 11 2014 at 4:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My Mom's Shar Pei sniffed out her colon cancer. When he was about 2 years old, he suddenly started jumping up on her and sniffing the right lower side of her abdomen. He did this for a number of weeks. When she had a routine screening colonoscopy about two months after the dog starting this odd behavior, the doctor spotted and removed a polyp right at the beginning of the large intestine- the right lower abdominal quadrant. The pathology report came back as malignant. Mom had surgery a couple of weeks later. The Doctor removed about a third of the large intestine. She did not have to have chemo and is cancer-free almost 7 years later. Her dog NEVER sniffed at her like that again. To show how in tuned this dog was to Mom, Mom is a very non-compliant diabetic. Her dog would wake her at night when her blood sugar dropped too low. Unfortunately, we had to release him to the Rainbow Bridge just after Christmas. He was Mom's faithful companion for more than 9 years.

February 11 2014 at 3:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Scientists in Isreal are right now testing a instrument to analyze breath to detect all types of cancer. Too bad we do not have access to it in the USA yet. It is based on the experiences of dogs being able to do this.

February 11 2014 at 1:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

May sound like BS to alot of you, but I know it does happen. My sisters dog used to love to sit with my brother in law. We started noticing Percy getting aggresive with him, few weeks after We found out my BIL had cancer. He never would have anything to do with him again. He passed away 11 months after he was diagnosed.

February 11 2014 at 1:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Smart alecs have nothing lives...apparently with time on their hands.

February 11 2014 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some people have such nothing lives they make smart alec remarks about something they know nothing about.

February 11 2014 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so maybe you can answer me. My puppies, now 3 year old shih tzus, are obessed with my left foot. They lick it repeatedly, then will move to the right foo, give it one lick and leave. They steal my left shoes and left socks. As far as I can tell after 2 years of this my left leg is fine.

Any thoughts?

February 10 2014 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to milesesq's comment

More likely than not they are just licking the salt from yor body. Be more concerned if they start sniffing at you like they were entering a fox hole, head down and determined. That is an indication of illness being detected. But dogs love to like feet and usually it's just about the salt. I had one who used to do it too.

February 11 2014 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jaluty's comment

lick not like sorry.

February 11 2014 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
Normie Baby

The stories about dogs detecting cancer & a few other diseases have been reported in the media for years now. That's why I can't understand those on this forum who doubt that this is happening. Could they all be so out of touch with some of the common things happening in the world they live in?

February 10 2014 at 11:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Normie Baby's comment

Had a collie/sheppard mix that with no training used to alert us when my aunt was about to have an epiletic seizure. She would start herding her to a spot to safely lay or sit her down.

February 11 2014 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My long haired 9 yr old mini dachshund kept sniffing my breath and pawing at my chest and diaphragm. After a month of that I told my hubby I need to have my colonoscopy early just to make sure I was okay. Truthfully I thought maybe I had an ulcer. Not so. I had a very large golf ball sized cancerous tumor in my colon and thankfully it was encapsulated and a foot of colon was removed. I was very lucky and now the dog get's whatever he wants. Also many disbelievers but there was no cancer in my family so this was something to be truly grateful for. Thanks to the dog Buddy and those who were there for me. Bottom Line is pay attention to the signs

February 10 2014 at 11:03 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Sounds like BS to me!

February 10 2014 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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