Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Can A Dog Smell Cancer?


I know dogs are used to find bed bugs and dogs act strangely before natural disasters occur, but is it possible for a dog to smell cancer? See, I would say no and think this is a woman who is remembering things differently after the fact. That being said, it would be interesting to see if it is possible. Brenda Jones says that for about a week her dog was acting strangely and would paw at Brenda's breast. At one point, the dog began to paw very hard and actually caused Brenda some pain. When she went to examine where the dog had hit her she noticed a lump and went to her doctor. The doctor said it was breast cancer and Brenda had the lump removed and is in chemo right now.


Brenda is convinced her dog could sense she had a tumor and credits the dog with saving her life.

"I'm convinced Mrs Murphy could sense that I had a tumour - without her pawing me that day it would have gone undiagnosed. I am sure she targeted that part of my breast and I'll always be grateful that she sensed something was wrong."

47 comments:

figgy said...

I think it's been proven that dogs can and do smell cancer.

Yet another reason why dogs are the greatest species on Earth! ;-D

RocketQueen said...

I think some animals have UNCANNY senses. I've heard multiple stories that echo this one, and read another one recently about a cat that could tell when someone was going to die - it would hold vigil bedside with them (it lived in a seniors' home) two days before they died - several of them.

And now that I'm pregnant, I've noticed my cats have been acting INCREDIBLY affectionately with me - crawling all over my stomach and sleeping with their paws on top of it. According to a few articles I've read, this is quite common. They know.

SusanB said...

Agree with figgy - I've seen stories where a dog's ability in this area has been proven. Too bad being sniffed by a dog can't replace a colonoscopy!

Rita said...

It HAS been proven that dogs smell cancer, the way certain dogs smell dead hidden corpses (they profiled one such dog on Bones), and even dogs are more and more used in rehabilitation centers for the way they uplift the spirit, quickening the healing process.

Oh now, I can't wait to go home and hug my doggie!

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I think this has already been proven?

BigMama said...

Congrats RQ!

Vicki Cupper said...

RocketQueen, I would LOVE to see a picture of your cats' paws on your stomach. Too adorable!

Rita said...

RQ - Congrats too! How far along are you? do we start smoking pink or blue in your honor?

FS said...

I agree, I've seen this before. Dogs can smell cancer and other illnesses, but I think it works best with their owners because they know their normal smells and know when something changes drastically. I love stories like this. :)

Texshan said...

This has been proven in multiple trials. Some dogs can detect cancer as well as several other disorders, including low blood sugar and even impending seizures. It's pretty cool stuff.

Rita said...

FS- They smell it when your PH becomes Acidic, instead of being neutral or Alkaline. Alkaline has been proven to be the PH state where NO sickness could inhabit the body. Very rare.

__-__=__ said...

Of course not! If dogs COULD smell cancer we wouldn't need doctors and all that expensive equipment. They can't smell bombs either. If they could we wouldn't need to be x-rayed at airports. There would just be working dogs everywhere if any of this were true. Right?!?!?!??!?!

pk8 said...

I had a black lab who lived to 18! He had an uncanny ability to sense when something was wrong with you. He stayed by mother's side throughout her entire chemo treatment. He also did the same thing with my aunt when she found out about her ovarian cancer. The dog would literally sleep outside her door and then walk around the house with her all day until she went back to bed. He did this throughout her treatment. (she stayed with us for treatment as we lived close to one of the best cancer hospitals).

I think animals can sense when something is up. It's amazing really.

MISCH said...

yes, I've read about this....shes a lucky woman...great dog.

RocketQueen said...

Haha - thanks guys! The bf and I have decided to keep the gender a surprise, but I promise to report on what we got in mid-February. I just KNOW that Beyonce bitch is going to steal my thunder with HER baby in February. ;)

Vicki - I actually have a picture of it because it was happening so often, but it was taken by me, just looking down at my belly. I might try to have my bf take one of me and the kitties and submit it next round Enty asks!

SusanB - maybe that's why dogs always sniff crotches! lol!

ms snarky said...

Yes, absolutely. This is sort of old news, anecdotal evidence and clinical trial results are all over news and Discover Channel.

Actually, I have direct evidence - my female dog had mammary cancer that spread through her lymph nodes, and my other dog won't stop sniffing her where her tumors are. Nothing can be done to cure her at this point, but she feels okay so we're just letting her be. The other dog does drive her crazy, though.

I think I should see if anyone wants him for a trial!!

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

@RQ

Are your fingers crossed for a specific gender, or are you not fussed?

Rita said...

RQ - mid-February? Say around the 16th? Hope it's a girl, we Aquarius ladies love our mamas and are good to them!

We'll mark the calendar, and make sure we ignore any Beyzus baby shenanigans. We'll only concentrate on yours!

SusanB - wow, so the crotch sniffing is a free pap test?

northstarmlb said...

pretty much the same thing happened to a coworker/friend. Dog was pawing at her breast, she had cancer. She's not much of a bs'er, so I believe it.

califblondy said...

Congrats, RQ.

RocketQueen said...

Sue Ellen & Rita - nah, we don't care. I kind of want a girl, the bf kind of wants a boy. As long as it's healthy, as they say!
And yes, very close to the 16th :) First date was the 17th, now the 19th! Should get another update tomorrow.

bluebonnetmom said...

I thought this had already been proven as well. They "see" for the blind, there are seizure dogs, cadaver dogs, search and rescue, etc.

@ Rocket Queen - Congrats on the baby! Hope that your pregnancy is going smoothly and you are feeling good. We all care about you and your baby way more than Bey's . Promise! : )

GoGo said...

Dogs are SO freaking in-tune and aware and cool in SO many ways...
I have personally seen our dogs predict t-storms and an earthquake, as well as an epileptic seizure in a child ere it happened (it was a dog we had given to the family). I just think humans haven't yet learned to "read" dogs the way they "read" us (and unfortunately, if humans e'er can and do, that will probably be a very sad day for our canine friends.
First article is from 2006 and the second is from February 2011...

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/01/0112_060112_dog_cancer.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/01/cancer-sniffing-dog_n_816961.html

I am SO GLAD I have four friends to watch o'er me...
Sorry, Enty -- I am usually the most skeptical of skeptics, but I believe this woman wholeheartedly...
What a great story! Thanks Enty! I needed that!

Maja. With a J. said...

I read astory about a dog in a nursing home too, who would sense when a person was about to pass away, and would go and lay beside them for their last few hours...and it would really calm the patient and make them feel at peace. I think animals have all kinds of abilities...I think humans do too, actually, but most of us are so used to the help of computers and all the other amenities, where we don't really have to use anything except the usual 5 :)

GoGo said...

And NOW, that I've read the comments (I always post first!)...
Congrats RocketQueen!!! I hope you have a little RocketPrincess or RocketPrince as amazing as you are!
Best wishes to you and the SO!
Makes me think about having another...
Blessings to you all!

Robert said...

Wow, a little Rocket Queen...pretty cool!

Robert said...

Or Rocket King, as the case may be!

GoGo said...

Awww shit! Goofle didn't save my first comment...
Don't want to type again but here are two articles and I also had a couple of stories attesting to my own dogs' superpowers... one detected an epileptic fit about 5 minutes ere the event.
My final thought was that I don't think humans are as in-tune and aware as dogs and that I am apprehensive for our canine friends once this is realised by "scientists..." (evil music here)

Damn f'in' Goofle; it was an eloquent and well-thought-out rant...

surfer said...

Congrats RQ - hope you have an easy pregnancy and birth.

mngddess said...

Enty - where have you been? I think it was Duke University that did studies and proved that dogs can sniff out cancer, because cancer cells have a particular smell. I saw a TV segment where a dog sniffed something under a woman's arm. the doctors did tests and found nothing, but she insisted that more test be done. Well, guess what? It was there, in a quantity that the original test did not detect. Makes you wonder about the tests we're given. All she had to have was a biopsy. I have no idea why this isn't used on a regular basis? because it's unorthodox? I'll take unorthodox if it will save my life.

GoGo said...

Links to the articles... hehehe!

From Jan 2006:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9807E6DA143FF934A25752C0A9609C8B63

From Feb 2011:
http://www.npr.org/2011/02/04/133498144/can-dogs-smell-cancer

selenakyle said...

Yeah, I also thought this was a proven fact. Wish to hell we had a dog this whole time ourselves, cuz Hubby just found out he has a skin cancer on his back. Not sure what kind yet. The Derm scraped the hell out of it and put some stuff on it. It's a GD spot I've been looking at for a couple years now; he just got around to having it checked out. Argh!

Texshan said...

Selena, make sure to tell the derm to impress upon your husband just how serious skin cancer can be. People tend to think it's not a big deal, but people do die from it (not that your husband will, obvs, but it does happen). My mom has a skin disease that makes her prone to melanomas, and she's had to have four surgeries and grafts for it. Remember the ABCD rule -- Asymmetry, Border, Color, and Diameter.

And just because you have a dog doesn't mean they will be any good at this sort of stuff. I was diagnosed with cancer late last year and my chiweenie never let on, that brat.

Also, RQ, congrats!

*girl said...

My dog eats her own poo.

Sweet as hell, but smart cancer-sniffing dog she is not!

Marna Palmer said...

I took my dog to the vet last year because she had been acting REALLY strange; hiding from me, refusing to go outside with me but prancing on out with my roommate and the dog walker, just acted weird to ME. My doc sat me down and asked if I was pregnant or if I had a terminal disease that the dog was picking up on. I screeched "I HOPE NOT!" and fortunately I didn't, but the fact that the vet would even ask this question tells me the research on this topic is legit.

Robert said...

*girl: Try feeding your dog pineapple to keep it from doing that. It works for most dogs.

RocketQueen said...

Thanks everyone. I'm touched, truly :)

brendalove@gmail.com said...

My dog was all over me right before the east coast earthquake. Tried to block me at the door from leaving. He hasn't acted that way since. He knew what was up.

lanasyogamama said...

*girl - ew!

RQ - Congrats! You're going to be so in love, you won't know what hit you!

chopchop said...

RQ!!!!! Congrats!!!!!!!! :-)

ardleigh said...

RQ, CONGRATS!!! Wishing you all the best!!

Enty, my dog can tell when my sister is about to have a seizure. (The dog was not trained to do this) Sunny(dog's name) will sit on or near my sister and makes sure my sister does not harm herself. My sister has had epilepsy for YEARS and many of our dogs have sensed her about have a seizure. Dogs know.

Audrey said...

Animals--be it feline or canine all rock! My cat was quite sick, and while it bothered me it wasn't something I shared with everyone I met. I'm just not the kind of person that does that sort of thing. But the animals knew I was hurting and sadder than sad and I was bestowed with their love and affection where ever I went, including dogs that weren't normally that openly friendly. It's amazing how wonderfully intuitive they are about human stuff.

Lelaina Pierce said...

Enty, I swear you were the one that posted about the dog in the hospital?? I guess maybe I read elsewhere. I also read about a doctor that was using a dog for this very purpose. And many other articles about dogs/cats detecting illnesses.

Dogs (and cats!) are just THE BEST, aren't they? Just look at that dog up there. He's like "I'm awesome!"

@RocketQueen - My girlfriends three cats did the same thing w/ her both pregnancies (and normally they weren't really lap cats). :) So cute!

@selenakyle - I'm sorry to hear this! My best friend just went through the same thing. They got it all out though, so I will hope for the same for your hubby!

@Texhan - I'm sorry to hear that!
:( I hope you are doing ok??

__-__=__ said...

Congrats RocketQueen! Can't wait to see the kitty pics. Animals are amazing. And I'd rather be sniffed by a dog than go to the doctor any day. Really.

Texshan said...

Hi, Lelaina. Yes, I'm OK, thanks. It was thyroid cancer, which is luckily very treatable.

Lelaina Pierce said...

@Texshan - Glad to hear it!! :)

selenakyle said...

Way late here...but thanks, y'all! :)