Woman claims dog 'saved her life' after he discovered she had anal cancer by sniffing her bum
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Dogs can be trained to do some pretty remarkable things, but one gran claims her pup 'saved her life' after he helped her discover she had anal cancer by constantly sniffing her bum.
In May, 51-year-old Lindsey Thwaites started experiencing soreness and bleeding down there, but blamed it on haemorrhoids, something she'd been plagued with for years.
One night, she nipped to the loo and was horrified to discover she was covered in blood. Thinking it was potentially just a period, Lindsey shrugged it off, cleaned herself up and went back to bed.
But, ever since, family dog Brian wouldn't leave her alone, constantly sniffing her bum, something that continued when she discover a marble-sized on her genitals.
The mortified housewife and gran-of-one would repeatedly shoo the border collie away, but Lindsey eventually booked a GP appointment, which led to her being diagnosed with anal cancer.
According to the NHS, anal cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the anus. Symptoms can include bleeding from the bottom, itching and pain around the anus, small lumps around and inside the bottom, a discharge of mucus from the bottom, bowel incontinence and looser, runnier poos.
Symptoms of anal cancer often mirror piles (haemorrhoids) and anal fissures, which are common and less serious conditions.
Now, Lindsey credits her persistent pooch with saving her life.
She said: "Brian mithering me saved my life, he pushed me to go to my GP. He kept sniffing my bum all the time and he followed me round, I'd be like 'Brian stop it.' I said to my husband 'he's scaring me because I know dogs can smell cancer.'"
Lindsey, from Chapeltown, South Yorkshire, was initially referred to a gynaecologist back in June but as soon as she was examined, she was told they'd sent her to 'the wrong place.'
The gynaecologist said: "This lump doesn't come from front to back, it goes from back to front."
The mum-of-two fell to bits as she asked if it was cancer because 'the first thing that goes through your head is that you're going to die.'
She was eventually given a diagnosis of stage three anal cancer.
"I came home and was in a bit of a mess," Lindsey said. "That day I kept crying but when I went to bed that night I had the best night's sleep I'd had in a long time.
"I don't know if it was because of the relief I knew what it was. I got up the next morning and thought 'right I'm going to fight it, and I'm going to beat it.'"
Lindsey now faces gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy at The Jessop Hospital in Sheffield.
She said: "This type of cancer is so painful and uncomfortable. It's like shoving a grapefruit half-way up your bum and leaving the rest of it out.
"Sitting down is so painful, I have to lean and sit on my hip. I can't lie on my back in bed because it hurts.
"I've had to have a stoma bag put on because I can't go to the toilet. The tumour is that big it just blocks everything.
"I'm struggling to walk now because it's painful, but I won't let it get me down."
But, she says two-and-a-half-year-old Brian is helping her through it: "He's been my therapy dog. He's my little superhero."
Lindsey is now sharing her ordeal in order to encourage others to get over their embarrassment and get anything unusual checked out by a doctor.
She said: "Don't be embarrassed, the doctors have seen it all before. If you find a lump, something doesn't feel right or you're bleeding, go to the doctors and let them examine you.
"So many people said they didn't know you could get cancer there."