Daisy, a cancer-detecting dog trained by her owner Dr. Claire Guest to sniff out the early signs of breast cancer, saved Guest's own life by alerting the doctor to her undiagnosed disease.
Daisy was trained to spot the disease in samples of breath, skin and urine, but actually sniffed out the cancer on Guest's body, the doctor told The Mirror
"Daisy kept nuzzling and pawing at my chest one day, which really alarmed me," Guest told the London newspaper. "I got it checked out and was told I had early stage breast cancer. Fortunately I was able to have it removed, but if it wasn't for Daisy it would have gone undetected for much longer and could have been more serious."
Daisy has been successful in diagnosing early cancer signs 550 samples, The Mirror reported.
"The surgeon said I was incredibly lucky for it to be diagnosed so early," Guest told The Telegraph
. "It was as deep as a breast cancer can be, so by the time I'd felt anything, it would've been too late."
Guest told The Telegraph she owes her life to the dog, saying she had a lumpectomy and her lymph nodes removed, followed by radiotherapy for five weeks. The doctor said she has now been free of cancer.
"All I could think was, what a difference Daisy has made," said Guest. "I might have had to have aggressive chemotherapy. I might not have survived. That's what made me decide: right, we've got to discover what’s going on."
Guest said she first became involve with animals in 2002 and worked with orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Church who wrote in the journal The Lancet that he believed dogs could detect bladder cancer in urine.
"We gathered a team from Buckinghamshire NHS Trust, and worked on a study that was published in the British Medical Journal in 2004," said Guest. "It was the first publication in the world that showed, without a doubt, that dogs could smell cancer and that cancer had an odor. It was a revelation."
Guest said Daisy is getting ready to retire soon and has become one of the doctor's foremost cancer sniffers.
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