Dog hailed as lifesaver for sniffing out woman’s undiagnosed breast cancer

WILFORD, United Kingdom — A mother praises her dog as her “little lifesaver” for helping in the early detection of her breast cancer.

Trisha Allison says that while relaxing on the couch and watching TV one morning, her dog Luna unexpectedly jumped onto her, inadvertently pressing against her right breast. Luna, a two-year-old collie and greyhound mix, persistently sniffed and nudged at Allison’s chest, and chose to lay next to her.

Around 45 minutes later, Allison experienced discomfort. She noticed that Luna’s behavior was out of character, as the dog isn’t typically affectionate. Concerned by the dog’s persistent attention to her breast, Allison examined herself and was alarmed by what she found. A visit to her doctor led to a referral to Nottingham City Hospital, where an MRI confirmed the cancer, revealing two lumps.

A 50-year-old mother of two and a home childcare provider from Wilford, Nottinghamshire, Allison credits her pet for the early discovery of the tumors.

💡What Is Breast Cancer?

  • Cells in the breast begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably, forming a tumor
  • There are many types of breast cancer, each with its own characteristics and behavior
  • It can spread to other parts of the body through the lymph system or bloodstream
  • Early detection is crucial for better treatment outcomes
woman kissing her dog
(Credit: Trisha Allison/SWNS)

“If it wasn’t for Luna, I would not have found it that day. With my dense breasts, I might not have noticed it for years, which could have led to a very different story. I usually check myself, but not regularly – perhaps every couple of months,” Allison says in an online video post. “It took two weeks to confirm the cancer, but thankfully, they caught it early. I believe Luna sensed something was wrong; she’s my little lifesaver.”

Fortunately, the cancer was detected early, and Allison has since undergone two surgeries to remove the tumors. She is currently awaiting information on whether chemotherapy will be necessary.

“I am generally a positive person, but hearing ‘it’s cancer’ shattered my world. You start thinking about the gravest possibilities. Despite trying to stay positive, each appointment is anxiety-inducing. I am incredibly grateful for Luna; without her, this story could have been much different.”

South West News Service writer Ben Barry contributed to this report.