A teenager who thought her bloating was caused by eating junk food and going out too much was shocked after the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
Seren Hughes, now 23, from Ewloe, Flintshire, had just started college when the symptoms first appeared.
But because she thought she just got into trouble, she increased her fitness routine and cut back on unhealthy food.
When things didn't improve, the then 19-year-old had a blood test that showed something sinister to doctors.
Mrs. Hughes was rushed to the hospital, where a scan of a & # 39; rugby ball mass & # 39; revealed that had to be removed with an ovary and a fallopian tube.
Tests confirmed that the mass was cancer, so Mrs. Hughes had to stop her chemotherapy studies.
About 80 percent of ovarian cancer cases occur in women over 50 years of age, making Ms. Hughes a rare case.
Seren Hughes, 23, found her bloated feeling caused by eating junk food and going out too much, but was shocked by a diagnosis of ovarian cancer at the age of 19 (recently pictured)
Mrs. Hughes was rushed to the hospital, where a scan of a & # 39; mass of the rugby ball mass & # 39; who had to be removed with her ovary and fallopian tube. The mass later turned out to be cancer. Depicted in the hospital
Mrs. Hughes said: “I was a uni in Manchester in my first year when I noticed something was wrong.
& # 39; As a student, I thought I just went out too much and was a bit polluted.
& # 39; I have always been a little health conscious, so when I noticed that my stomach was very bloated all the time, I went to the gym more and reduced bad food to try and shift it. & # 39;
But a few months later there seemed to be no improvement, so Mrs. Hughes went to her doctor in Wales.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CANCER?
Ovarian cancer can cause various signs and symptoms. Women are more likely to experience symptoms if the disease has spread, but ovarian cancer can cause them even at an early stage. The most common symptoms are:
- Bloated feeling
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Problems with eating fast or feeling full
- Urinary symptoms such as urgency (always have the feeling that you have to go) or frequency (often have to go)
When caused by ovarian cancer, the symptoms are usually persistent and more severe.
If you have these symptoms more than 12 times a month, consult your doctor so that the problem can be detected and treated if necessary.
Other symptoms of ovarian cancer may include fatigue, stomach upset, back pain, pain during intercourse, constipation, and a change in menstruation.
Source: American Cancer Society
She said: & # 39; The next day the doctor called me and told me to go straight to A & E. & # 39;
Initially, doctors thought Mrs. Hughes had a burst appendix and said she had to undergo emergency surgery after a scan.
But the scan showed that she had a growth on her ovary.
Mrs. Hughes said: & I was in the hospital for about a week right now. My stomach grew pretty fast.
& # 39; When I was in the hospital, the mass around my stomach grew while the rest of my body was losing very quickly because I wasn't eating. I lost two stones (12.7 kg) in three weeks. & # 39;
Doctors told Mrs. Hughes to have surgery to remove mass, but until it was tested, they didn't know if it was cancer or not.
& # 39; The operation involved the removal of my left ovary and fallopian tube and a tumor the size of a rugby ball, & # 39; said Mrs. Hughes.
& # 39; I spent a few days at Christie's & # 39; s Hospital in Manchester to go back to the Oncology Department one day and then I was sent home.
& # 39; It took about two to three weeks before I could go back to get the results.
& # 39; Then I was told that they had found cancer cells.
Mrs. Hughes, pictured when she was younger, increased her gym routine and cut back on unhealthy food when she thought her university life was causing her poor health
Mrs. Hughes said that her stomach continued to grow as she weakened in the hospital at Christie's & # 39; s Hospital in Manchester while the tests were running
& # 39; I didn't know what that meant, but my mother and father burst into tears while I just asked a lot of questions about what was going to happen. & # 39;
Ovarian cancer occurs when cells in the ovaries grow uncontrollably and multiply, creating a piece of tissue called a tumor.
Most cases of ovarian cancer occur in women who have already gone through menopause and the risk is greater if someone in the family has had it.
About 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year in the UK and 22,530 in the US.
Mrs. Hughes survived six rounds of debilitating chemotherapy while being supported by the children's cancer organization, CLIC Sargent.
She was forced to retake another year of college, but graduated from Salford University last year with a degree in English literature.
Although it is unknown whether removing one of her ovaries will affect her fertility in the future, doctors also froze some of Mrs. Hughes' eggs as & # 39; backup & # 39 ;.
Mrs. Hughes now works for The CATS Campaign in Manchester, a charity that focuses on raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer in young people.
She said: & # 39; Since my surgery there is no sign that the disease is recurring, so I am cancer free and try my best to use my experiences to help others.
& # 39; When I was 19, I had never heard of ovarian cancer, it does not even occur to you, so if I make more people aware of the signs and symptoms, I will be happy. & # 39;
WHY OVARIAN CANCER A & # 39; SILENT KILLER & # 39; IS CALLED
About 80 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease.
At the time of diagnosis, 60 percent of ovarian cancers will already have spread to other parts of the body, reducing the five-year survival rate in the earliest phase to 30 percent of 90 percent.
It is diagnosed so late because of its location in the pelvis, according to Dr. Ronny Drapkin, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who has been studying the disease for more than twenty years.
& # 39; The pelvis is like a bowl, so a tumor can become quite large before it becomes really noticeable, & # 39 ;, Dr. Drapkin told Daily Mail Online.
The first symptoms that occur with ovarian cancer are gastrointestinal because tumors can begin to press.
When a patient complains about gastrointestinal discomfort, doctors focus more on diet change and other causes than on screening for ovarian cancer.
Dr. Drapkin said it is usually only after a patient has persistent gastrointestinal symptoms that they will get a screening that reveals the cancer.
& # 39; Ovarian cancer is often said to be a silent killer because it has no early symptoms, while it actually shows symptoms, they are just very common and can be caused by other things, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; One of the things I tell women is that nobody knows your body as well as you do. If you think something is wrong, something is probably wrong. & # 39;