Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) October 08, 2013
Bella's keen sense of smell detected the breast cancer of her owner Susan Castriota. The story of a woman's best friend has a powerful message for women about the importance of yearly mammograms.
Susan Castriota, renowned children's book author/illustrator of the series "Wilson's Wondrous Tails," is fortunate to have a dog with an extraordinary sense of smell.
Castriota was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2012 (National Breast Cancer Awareness month). Bella, a white Havenese, was sniffing and poking at Castriota's breast months before having her yearly mammogram. Because of Bella's persistent and unusual behavior, Castriota was moved to schedule the appointment she had been putting off. When Dr. Michelle R. Straka discovered the cancer, it was in the exact place where Bella had been poking around. Castriota, who subsequently underwent a double mastectomy, chemo and reconstructive surgery, is recovering beautifully and is deeply grateful to Bella.
Sitting on the sets of the Emmy award winning show The Doctors in Hollywood and FOX News in NYC, Bella sits quietly while Castriota enlightens viewers of the extra-sensory perception of dogs and how Bella's sniffing ability is up to 100,000 times stronger than humans. How is that even possible? Dr. Daniel Petrylak, professor of medical oncology and director at Yale Cancer Center, joined Fox & Friends to discuss this medical phenomenon. He explained that cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can be detected by dogs. Now, researchers are actually training dogs to sniff out specific proteins. "Early detection saves lives and this may be something we can use in the future," Dr. Petrylak said.
As Castriota's creative juices returned, Bella was the inspiration for her next book, "Wilson and Bella's Big Apple Adventure!" Bella's fictitious New York City adventure is cleverly interwoven with the true story of the joy she brings to Castriota and adopted dog Wilson as Bella ventures off to NYC to help spread the word about early detection."Wilson and Bella's Big Apple Adventure!" will be released in October.
Because Castriota is now a breast cancer survivor, she is a passionate and enthusiastic advocate for early detection. She has a life saving 3 point message for women: ONE mammogram per year, TWO opinions if diagnosed, THREE-D imaging mammography. In addition, she was invited to join the "Survivor's Circle Program" to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Fifteen percent of the sales of the book "Wilson and Bella's Big Apple Adventure!" will be donated to BCRF.
For more information, please contact Susan Castriota at http://www.wilsongetsadopted.com or 412.833.7556.