Shannen Doherty Says German Shepherd Detected Her Breast Cancer Before She Was Diagnosed

The TV star's dog had been sniffing her side for a long time.

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Shannen Doherty’s dog had taken a keen interest to Shannen’s side of the body long before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Via theshando/Instagram
John Virata

Shannen Doherty is in the fight for her life as she battles breast cancer. She announced her diagnosis in 2015, but told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday that it was her German Shepherd dog, Bowie, who first detected that something was wrong.

“She would obsessively sniff right here on my right side for a long time before,” the former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star told ET’s Jennifer Peros in an interview. “So, it made sense when I got diagnosed.”

Doherty told ET that when she returned home after undergoing a mastectomy, Bowie again was inspecting the general area in which the cancer was located, and when she underwent her first chemotherapy session, Bowie again was sniffing around the area.

#MsBowie found some friends #wellfuckaduck

A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

“When I had my first chemo, she would sniff my entire body up and down,” she said. “And she was always protective before, but she has become this crazy, protective dog. It’s hard to get close to me when she’s around.” 

And then there’s this stunning creature… #bigearsdontcare #german #MsBowie #mylove A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Doherty has since completed three rounds of chemotherapy and told ET that she will go through radiation treatment when she completes all eight of her scheduled chemotherapy sessions.

Studies have shown that dogs can detect certain cancers, and can even be trained to differentiate between cancerous and non-cancerous thyroid illness just by smelling human urine samples. A study conducted by a team of researchers with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock, trained a male German Shepherd mix named Frankie to sniff out such cancers. He was successful in detecting the presence of thyroid cancer a total of 30 times out of 34 attempts.

We wish Shannen Doherty all the best as she fights her illness.

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