Pet dog helps alert New Jersey sisters to breast cancers

Sisters recovering from breast cancer they found thanks to pet dog

WAYNE, N.J. (WABC) - A pair of sisters in New Jersey are recovering from breast cancer, thanks to a pet pug named Daisy. The dog did an unintended breast exam on one of them, leading to a diagnosis that prompted the other sister to get checked, too.

Amanda Tasca discovered a tumor in her breast when her dog, Daisy, jumped on her.

Sisters Amanda Tasca and Amy Niosi credit pet pug Daisy with helping them find their breast cancers fast. The two had double mastectomies, and their prognoses are good.
Sisters Amanda Tasca and Amy Niosi credit pet pug Daisy with helping them find their breast cancers fast. The two had double mastectomies, and their prognoses are good. (Source: Family photos, WABC via CNN)

“This one jumped on my chest and I was like, ‘Ow, that kind of hurt,’” Tasca said.

Later, her older sister, Amy Niosi, found a lump when she was watching television while wearing only a T-shirt and no bra. When she had a bra on, she couldn’t feel the lump.

“Mine was like a grape, and when she was like, ‘Oh, mine is like a clementine.’ I was like ‘What?’” Tasca said.

It turned out that Niosi had stage 3 breast cancer. Doctors also found cancer in her lymph nodes.

Both sisters, who are in their mid-30s, got double mastectomies, while Niosi also had chemotherapy and radiation. Their doctor says their prognoses are good.

Finding the cancer fast was key, and the two credit Daisy with that.

“I, for 100%, I know it was her, and throughout my entire recovery, she’s never left my side,” Tasca said.

“This is definitely a first for me. Generally, we recommend screening mammograms, but whatever way we can discover things as quickly as we can,” said Dr. Deena Mary Atieh Graham.

The sisters are now urging everyone to get checked. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“If you have any kind of inkling or you feel anything, even if you’re under the age of 40 where you normally wouldn’t get mammograms, just go to the doctor, get it checked, self-exam,” Tasca said.

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