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Cat saves owner by detecting Cancer
cnews.canoe.ca, Karen Nichols - www.catster.com
This was no ordinary CAT scan. Man credits feline friend's paws of life for discovery of large tumor Lionel Adams believes it saved his life. Now recovering from surgery to remove cancer from his lung, Adams, 59, is crediting his eight-year-old feline friend Tiger for alerting him and his family doctor to a mass in his lung. "He would climb into bed and take his paw and drag it Down my left side -- he was adamant there was something there," he said. "And it was right where the cancer was." Adams, who has suffered from bronchitis, asthma and emphysema, had showed no symptoms of lung cancer before his kitty's bizarre examination.
But about seven months ago, after mentioning the cat's strange behavior to his family doctor, he was referred to a specialist who caught the disease at stage one in his left lung. "They did an X-ray, they spotted something on the left side," he said. 1
To get rid of the cancer, doctors removed a piece of his lung about the size of a pop can that had been shredded in half. And now Adams is heralding Tiger as a hero for potentially saving his life. "I think if he hadn't done the pawing part it could have gone on for another five, six months undetected," he said. "I feel like it could have been a lot worse if the cat hadn't had tuned in to something there, to something he felt was wrong. "I would say he's my hero." Barbara Walmer, department head of behavior at the Calgary Humane Society, said though studies reveal dogs are capable of sniffing out cancer and predicting types of seizures in their owners, other pets such as cats have been reported to act in similar ways. "I have heard of it for sure in dogs," she said. "I think we see more predicting in dogs, but for sure many pet owners have reported pets can have a sixth sense when knowing when something is wrong." She said cats have a good sense of smell and can be tuned in to illnesses in humans because they are sensitive to subtle changes in their body language. "If they spend a lot of time with you they learn a whole lot about you, your body language," she said. "When things change because of illness they pick up on it, so whether it's they know if it is cancer or something is changed, we don't know." Either way, Tiger should be credited for potentially saving his owner's life, Walmer said. "Especially with the way it started and how it ended up unfolding ... they really would have not found out if the cat didn't act," she said. "The cat definitely had a role to play in that." Doctors at Calgary's Tom Baker and Edmonton's Cross Cancer centers could not be reached for comment. And that's saying a lot for a cat that has never been one for showing affection.
"He's never had that much to do with me except to come over for a pet," Adams said, with a laugh.
Rescued canine saves owners life
You have probably read or heard of instances where dogs and cats are able to detect sickness and impending death. Here is one such story that will display the love and sensitivity animals have for humans. On a back country road a flea ridden, tick infested dog was thrown from a moving car and by fate, found by it's future owner - we'll call him Joe for this story. Joe's birthday was that particular day and this too felt like a sign that this dog and the relationship with it's owner would be special. After a bath and a delousing, the small dog quickly established herself in her new home by curling up on Joe's pillow and promptly falling asleep. From that point on, she slept at the man's head every night and quickly became attached to him, being his shadow during his waking hours. One night, the dog made an obvious change in her routine, moving from the pillow down to the man's chest where she placed her head firmly on the left side. Joe's attempt to shoo her away didn't work and she stayed there until morning. Soon after this change in her, Joe noticed he was losing weight and his blood pressure was high. Between the connection he felt he had with his sensitive companion and these changes in his body, Joe quickly sought medical help. He discovered he had lung cancer. After an operation, Joe recovered and gives credit to his precious find in saving his life. It has only been recently that science has taken these stories seriously and have offered up an explanation for stories like this. Cancer cells emit a different waste 3
product from healthy cells. Possessing a keen sense of smell enables dogs to detect the disease in the very early stages.
Dogs That Detect Cancer
A dogs abilty to identify smells is far superior to a human being. They can detect smells somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 better, and are now being called upon to use that ability to detect cancer. This study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies, indicates that the cancer detecting dogs in the study were able to detect lung cancer 99% of the time, and breast cancer 88% of the time. Interestingly, these were not dogs that had years of training. They were ordinary household dogs that were only given a few weeks of training. Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs is a charity that trains dogs to detect cancer and diabetes. There was a recent news article about Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs, describing a homeless dog they recently adopted to train in cancer detection. Casper was at a shelter for 3 months, but no one wanted to adopt him because he was so hyper. The Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs spokesperson had this to say about Casper, "Casper is a very highly driven, highly active animal. He's not really an ideal family pet as he wants to use his brain all the time. This can make a dog disruptive in the home but it makes Casper perfect for us. What we do requires very bright and energetic dogs that love to work. So far, it's early days, but Casper is showing all the right signs. He's fantastic."
Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs is a new charity that works in partnership with researchers from the Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust. They specialize in training dogs to detect cancer with breath or urine samples. In addition, they train dogs to detect low blood sugar in human beings that suffer from diabetes. Source: www.cocothebloggingdog.com Dogs Sniff Out Cancer
By Kate Melville
Cancer detection in the kennel? It just might be the best way to identify cancer if results from a recent study hold up. The researchers involved say that dogs have an uncanny ability to sniff out lung and breast cancer in its early stages of development. Published in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies, the study reveals evidence that a dog's extraordinary scenting ability can distinguish people with both early and late stage lung and breast cancers from healthy control subjects. The research was carried out in California and was recently documented by the BBC in the United Kingdom. Dogs olfactory capabilities have been recognized in other studies that demonstrated their ability to identify chemicals in extremely dilute solutions. Cancer detection was first noted in the case report of a dog alerting its owner to the presence of a melanoma by constantly sniffing the skin lesion. Subsequent studies confirmed the ability of trained dogs to detect both melanomas and bladder cancers. The new study - led by Michael McCulloch of the Pine Street Foundation and Tadeusz Jezierski of the Polish Academy of Sciences - is the first to test whether dogs can detect cancers only by sniffing the exhaled breath of cancer patients.
In the new study, five ordinary dogs were trained over a 3-week period to detect lung or breast cancer by sniffing the breath of cancer participants. The trial itself was comprised of 86 cancer patients (55 with lung cancer and 31 with breast cancer) and a control sample of 83 healthy patients. All cancer patients had recently been diagnosed with cancer through biopsy-confirmed conventional methods such as a mammogram, or CAT scan and had not yet undergone any chemotherapy treatment. During the study, the dogs were presented with breath samples from the cancer patients and the controls, captured in a special tube. The dogs were trained to give a positive identification of a cancer patient by sitting or lying down directly in front of a test station containing a cancer patient sample, while ignoring control samples. The results showed that dogs can detect breast and lung cancer with sensitivity and specificity between 88 percent and 97 percent. Moreover, the study also confirmed that the trained dogs could even detect the early stages of lung cancer, as well as early breast cancer. The researchers concluded that breath analysis has the potential to provide a substantial reduction in the uncertainty currently seen in cancer diagnosis. Source: Integrative Cancer Therapies
Cancer-Sniffing Canines Could Save Your Life
At first glance, cancer researcher Michael McCulloch’s lab at the Pine Street Foundation in San Rafael, Calif., looks predictably humdrum – a computer, a few beakers and some vials. And yet, if you look a little closer, there’s something downright peculiar about the place. Most notably, the water bowls, leashes and the roll of paper towels used for sopping up slobber.
For the past 10 years, McCulloch, an acupuncturist by training, has been exploring whether the sensitive nose of his furry, four-legged research subjects can detect cancer. And after hearing accounts of canines that reportedly saved the lives of their human owners by sniffing, pawing and barking at their tumors (long before being diagnosed by a physician), he has been grappling with a thought-provoking theory: If a dog can do that spontaneously, that suggests they can be trained to do it. The idea isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds, insists Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society's deputy chief medical officer. "An enormous amount of research is being done to find those proteins present in small quantities in the bloodstream that may signal cancer," Lichtenfeld tells PEOPLE. "That a dog could smell these is definitely within the realm of possibility." McCulloch first became aware of the concept that certain diseases can be detected in a person’s breath from an ancient medical text in the early 1980s while studying acupuncture in Taiwan and mainland China. In 2003, he and his colleagues at the Pine Street Foundation began collecting breath samples from nearly a hundred lung and breast cancer patients. Next, they went to work developing a technique to train a group of dogs to sniff out the samples in much the same way law-enforcement personnel teach canines to use their noses to find narcotics and explosives. What they learned was truly explosive. It turned out his canine research subjects and their sensitive noses could detect lung cancer 99 percent of the time and had an 88-percent accuracy rate for breast cancer. What McCulloch thinks the dogs are detecting is metabolic waste "from the tumor cells, which is chemically different from normal cells. The waste travels through the bloodstream and is exhaled out through the lungs." McCulloch recently began working on a follow-up study funded by the federal government and private donations. Last year, they began collecting breath samples from women recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, known as a particularly aggressive, fastgrowing type of cancer cell rarely detected in its early stages. Once again, McCulloch and his team set out to determine if the dogs could be trained to accurately locate the samples – held in fist-sized plastic tubes – when hidden amongst four other similar tubes containing breath samples from healthy adults. Although the full results of the study won’t be known until December, so far the canines have displayed uncanny accuracy. Which leads McCulloch to wonder if perhaps some day a woman’s breath sample might prove to be a more accurate and earlier way to detect ovarian cancer than the commonly used blood test or ultrasound? "What does all this mean?" asks McCulloch. "I think part of the answer is that whenever you see dogs greeting each other out on the street, sniffing each other out, they’re probably asking a very simple question: ‘How’s your health today?’ " To learn more about the Pine Street Foundation’s cancer study, go to: http://pinestreetfoundation.org