Dog 'sniffed out cancer' in her owner's breast

Rawlinson family and Penny the dog Mrs Rawlinson's husband Brian said Penny was amazing

Related Stories

A woman discovered she had a cancerous tumour in her breast after her dog started sniffing and pawing at it.

Sharon Rawlinson ignored her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for months, but went for tests after Penny stepped on her chest, causing pain.

Mrs Rawlinson, from Newark, then examined herself and found a lump.

Penny was a surprise Christmas present which her husband almost did not buy, because he said his wife was not allowed to have another dog.

Mrs Rawlinson said 18-month-old Penny was her guardian angel.

"I can't explain how she knew. I just can't get my head around it," she said.

Penny began her unusual behaviour in November, and stepped on her owner's chest in January.

Can dogs detect cancer?

Mrs Rawlinson went to her GP and then Nottingham City Hospital for tests, and Penny continued to paw her while she waited for the results.

Mrs Rawlinson began chemotherapy in March and went into hospital for an operation to remove the tumour this week.

"As soon as I started chemotherapy she's not gone near the breast since," Mrs Rawlinson said.

Her husband Brian said the dog was "amazing".

"There's a long, long way to go but at least we've got half a chance," he said.

"If we had left it for any longer, because the tumour was already 33mm, I think we would have had problems."

Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK, said: "A few anecdotal cases have suggested that dogs may sometimes be aware that their owner has cancer.

"No reliable research has given a scientific explanation of how this could work."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Nottingham

Weather

Nottingham

27 °C 16 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of


  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news


  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support


  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine

Programmes

  • A robot which is due to compete in the 2014 RoboCupClick Watch

    Why robots from 45 countries are playing football in Brazil, plus other technology news

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.