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Rescue Dog Sniffs Out Aggressive Breast Cancer, Saves Life of Owner

3 January 2015, 8:35 am EST By Dianne Depra Tech Times
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Breast cancer rates in the United States have been dropping since 2000, but thousands of women are still diagnosed with the cancer every year.  ( Jason Meredith )

Josie Conlan saved border collie Ted from what appeared to be an abusive home, and now he's saved her, sniffing out a tumor that led to the discovery that she had aggressive breast cancer.

Having come from an abusive home, Ted was usually reserved. He was not very affectionate, so when he started pawing at Conlan, crying and nuzzling at her chest, she knew something was up. After checking the area Ted was pawing at, she spotted a bump. A visit to her doctor confirmed that she has grade three cancer.

As devastating as the news was, Conlan couldn't help but be relieved because Ted was able to call her attention to a bump in her chest. Had she ignored the dog's cries, she would likely be dead by summer.

The deadly tumor in her chest has been removed, and Conlan was told the cancer did not spread to her lymph nodes. This means that it will be unlikely for the cancer to spread and affect other parts of her body.

All that is left now is for Conlan to undergo chemotherapy for 18 weeks and radiotherapy for four to guarantee that the cancer does not make a comeback.

Ted is two years old and the Conlans have had him for around a year. Having suffered as a puppy, the dog was timid, taking work on Josie's part to get him to warm up to the family. Once Ted turned around, he and Josie formed a very close bond, a highlight in the dog's dramatic recovery.

"I think a lot of people would probably just push a dog away if it started clawing at their chest, but dog owners should take notice, because Ted really did save my life," said Conlan.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there were 207,170 new cases of breast cancer in women aged 45 years old and above and 133,310 cases in women aged 65 years old and below in 2014 in the United States.

This estimation shows that those most at risk are between 45 and 65 years old, although the cancer can strike anyone. Risk factors include age and genetics, both of which can't be changed, as well as weight, fitness level and diet. By opting for the healthiest lifestyle choices available, women can take an active role towards lowering their risks for contracting the cancer.

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