The power of the pink ribbon is everywhere in the month of October as we observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This yearly event is more than just a way to raise funds for breast cancer research. It helps to increase awareness for the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries. Betty Ford helped kick off the week-long event, as she was herself a survivor of breast cancer. She was diagnosed when her husband, Gerald Ford, was president of the United States and brought even more attention to breast cancer.
Dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell. A dog’s nose has 300 million sensors, compared to the 5 million sensors in a human nose. Their enhanced ability to smell allows specially trained dogs to detect the unique odors found in cancer.
Like many other diseases, cancers leave specific traces, or odor signatures, in a person’s body and bodily secretions. Cancer cells, or healthy cells affected by cancer, produce and release these odor signatures. Depending on the type of cancer, dogs are able to detect these signatures in a person’s:
Calling Dr. Smell
At an early stage, trained dogs are able to pick up on the smell of breast cancer through urine and even your breath. What’s more, because it’s at an earlier stage, that could make a big difference when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.
But even your own dog, who isn’t a certified Dr. Sniffer may be showing you signs they detect something is wrong. If you notice you pooch sniffing at the air around your mouth when you breathe and talk, pay attention. Your dog may also spend time sniffing at your body. Other signs include paw tapping to get your attention, looking alert and head tilting, putting its head in your lap while looking up at you, lying next to you far more than usual, and whining. These signs are ones that show your dog wants to get your attention because it senses there is something flawed.
Never Fight Alone
Dog Is Good knows that if you have a canine kid, you will never fight alone. Being a dog owner, you know that dogs can give a variety of health and not to mention mood-lifting benefits. Dogs can help people relax, and they can be a comfort to those fighting cancer.