Woman credits dog for tipping off cancer diagnosis

Published On: Jan 07 2013 08:24:07 AM HST

A woman recovering from breast cancer said her dog knew she was sick long before she was diagnosed.

For Susan Castriota, her dog, Bella, may be much more than a man's best friend.

"(This summer,) she was getting up in the morning and coming over and sniffing my breast, poking her nose in there, and I was just shooing her away, like, 'What are you doing?' But she is the sniffer in the family," Castriota said.

Castriota gets mammograms annually, but her last trip to the doctor in October revealed a rare form of breast cancer.

"As soon as I was diagnosed, the cancer was exactly where Bella was pushing her nose then. Bella must've been trying to tell me something," Castriota said.

Castriota said she went straight to the Internet and found researchers in California testing the theory of cancer-sniffing dogs.

"Maybe we should just pay a little more attention to what our dogs are trying to tell us, as my little Bella did," Castriota said.

Castriota is a published author and illustrator of children's books. She features her dog, Wilson, in her tales, but she said Bella is her inspiration for her next book.

"That's on my agenda for 2013," Castriota said.


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