Fri, 17 May 2013 13:48 CDT
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Can cetaceans actually detect cancer in humans, or is the anecdotal evidence in support of the idea really just a happy coincidence?
Can dolphins detect cancer in people? To some scientists, it's not even a legitimate hypothesis; and to many animal-rights activists, "swim-with-the-dolphin" cancer diagnostic centers would be no less objectionable than any other form of captivity.
But what if the rather far-fetched idea were true? What if we tested dolphins and discovered they can
detect tiny tumors and abnormal growths in humans, perhaps even those missed by state-of-the-art technology? Instead of X-rays, MRIs and CAT scans, will patients one day be clamoring for cetacean-grams
Probably not. But I, for one, believe the hypothesis is plausible. Others are positively convinced it is fact, including Patricia Stoops of Panama City, Florida, who claims that a captive dolphin named Keppler saved her life after a chance meeting at a swim-with program in the Caribbean.
Stoops was on a Carnival cruise in the British Virgin Islands when she eagerly signed up for the "dolphin excursion" on the island of Tortola.
She and about 15 others entered the water as a group of captive dolphins approached them and began interacting as normal. But one dolphin, Keppler, took a keen interest in Stoops and refused to leave her alone.
"He did a flip in front of me," she told WJHG-TV news in Panama City. "He kept running into me and I explained to the trainer that the dolphin had hit me. He said, 'Oh, that's unusual.' The dolphin trainer said the dolphin detected something wrong with me."