Dog Sniffs Out Cancer in Owner
Updated: Wednesday, 23 Dec 2009, 2:25 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 23 Dec 2009, 2:24 PM EST
By Sue Dunlevy and Clementine Cuneo
(DAILY TELEGRAPH) - It is the greatest affirmation of man's best friend -- a dog which detected its owner's cancer and ultimately saved her life.
Paula Bockman-Chato, of the north-western Sydney suburb of Kellyville, had first believed that the constant sniffing and nuzzling under her arm by her beloved saluki Kaspar was just the dog being affectionate.
But that was until a medical check revealed early signs of lymph node cancer in the very spot that had attracted Kaspar's attention.
Having just beaten the cancer - she was cleared by her doctors after her diagnosis late last year -- Bockman-Chato said she would not have been aware of the disease if it wasn't for Kaspar.
"He kept putting his nose in my armpit and sometimes he'd put his paw in there as well," Bockman-Chato said. "I was totally unaware there was a problem until he kept focusing on that spot."
In 2006, California's Pine Street Foundation found dogs identified people with lung and breast cancer by sniffing proteins in their breath.
The foundation ran a trial involving 86 patients with cancer and 83 without and found dogs could identify the cancer patients with an 88-97 per cent accuracy range.