Westminster Competitor May Have Detected Owner's Breast Cancerthe daily dish
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.
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