Can Dogs Detect Breast Cancer?
Earlier this week I was watching a documentary on the BBC channel titled “Secret Life of Dogs.” The dogs that were profiled absolutely amazed me at what they can do and how they helped their owners in distress. I was especially amazed at a dog named “Max” who was able to successfully sniff out cancer in his owner when the doctors told her that her mammogram was clear.
As Max’s owner, Maureen Burns tells it, when her nine-year-old collie-mix started acting strangely, she initially thought it was Max who was sick. Her normally hyper and happy dog suddenly became lethargic and depressed. He also started acting strangely, sniffing at her breast and then backing off with what Burns described as a “sad look in his eyes.” Burns did have a small lump in that breast, but her most recent mammogram had been clear. Still, she went to her health care provider and after several tests was told once again that she was fine.
But Max’s odd behavior persisted, and Burns felt sure that he was trying to tell her something. So she went once again to the doctor and asked for a biopsy of the lump in her breast. It was only then that Burns learned that the lump was in fact cancerous.
When she returned home, Burns says that Max’s behavior completely returned to normal.
“He put his nose across my breast to check where the operation had been and was wagging his tail and his eyes were happy,” Burns said. “I love Max and I owe him so much.”
Check out this video for the full story that aired on “Secret Life of Dogs.”