Our pets have an inherent ability to detect cancers was proved when a dog in Oz sniffed out its owner's cancer and ultimately saved her life, has lent further support to the belief.
Paula Bockman-Chato had first believed that the constant sniffing and nuzzling under her arm by her beloved saluki Kaspar was just the dog being affectionate.
But later, a medical check revealed early signs of lymph node cancer in the very spot that had attracted Kaspar's attention.
Such stories are not uncommon, as scientific research has confirmed what was long anecdotally believed-dogs are highly successful in sniffing out cancer in humans thanks to their incredible sense of smell.
According to one study, up to 97 per cent of pets are accurate in detecting cancers.
In fact, one of Australia's chief vets is pushing to have dogs in GP surgeries just to sniff out cancer.
Bockman-Chato, of Kellyville, was cleared by her doctors after her diagnosis late last year and has just beaten the cancer.
She said that she would not have been aware of the disease if it wasn't for Kaspar.
"He kept putting his nose in my armpit and sometimes he'd put his paw in there as well. I was totally unaware there was a problem until he kept focusing on that spot," The Daily Telegraph quoted Bockman-Chato as saying.
Australian National Kennel Council vet Dr Peter Higgins said it was time doctors used this remarkable ability by having dogs in their surgeries as early cancer detectors.
"It would not replace diagnostic tests but it would be a good early and non-invasive way of finding if something is there," he said.