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Dog detects breast cancer in owner

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ATLANTA, March 24 (UPI) -- An Atlanta-area woman credits her dog for saving her life because she says the dog sniffed out her breast cancer.

Carol Witcher says three years ago her dog Floyd Henry gave her a pointed message.

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"He nipped my nose and then pushed against my right breast. And I said, 'what are you doing?'" Witcher told the television news program on 11 Alive in Atlanta. "He pushed again and stood back and looked at me right in my eyes like, 'There's a problem here.' Then, he raised his right front foot and pawed my breast. And I said, 'uh oh.'"

Witcher says she acted on her dog's prompting and doctors found breast cancer in the exact spot Floyd Henry touched.

Three years later, Witcher says she is cancer free.

"He saved my life," she says.

Dr. Suresh Ramalingam, director of medical oncology at Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, says she is studying cancer detection via breath odor.

"The types of gases exhaled in our breath sample can be used to detect cancer," Ramalingam says. "What the dog shows is proof that this is possible."

Doctors say sniffing out the specific location of cancer, as in Witcher's case, is possible but highly unlikely. Witcher says she has all the proof she needs.

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