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 thinking that she was simply empty, she increased her routine in the gym and cut back on unhealthy food.
When things did not improve, the then 19-year-old blood tests had shown doctors something ominous.
Mrs. Hughes was taken to the hospital, where a scan of a & # 39; rugby ball mass & # 39; revealed that had to be removed along with an ovary and 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 are in women over 50 years of age, making Ms. Hughes a rare case.
Seren Hughes, 23, thought her bloating was caused by eating junk food and going out too much, but was shocked at the age of 19 by a diagnosis of ovarian cancer (recently pictured)
Mrs. Hughes was taken to the hospital, where a scan of a & # 39; rugby ball mass & # 39; revealed that it had to be removed along with her ovary and fallopian tube. The mass later turned out to be cancer. Depicted in the hospital
Mrs. Hughes said: “I was in my first year at the uni in Manchester when I noticed something was wrong.
& # 39; As a student, I thought I just went out too much and was a bit empty.
& # 39; I have always been a little health conscious, so when I noticed that my stomach was really 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 appeared to be no improvement, so Mrs. Hughes went to her doctor's home 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 or feeling full quickly
- Urinary tract 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 found and treated if necessary.
Other symptoms of ovarian cancer are tiredness, upset stomach, back pain, pain during sex, constipation and a change in menstruation.
Source: American Cancer Association
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 was swollen on her ovary.
Mrs. Hughes said: & I had been in the hospital for about a week right now. My stomach grew pretty fast.
& # 39; While I was in the hospital, the mass around my belly grew, while the rest of my body was losing weight very, very fast because I wasn't eating – I lost two stones (12.7 kg) for three weeks. & # 39;
Doctors told Mrs. Hughes that they needed surgery to remove the masses, 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 in Christie's & # 39; s Hospital in Manchester in intensive care before returning to the Oncology Department for a day and then I was sent home.
& # 39; It took about two to three weeks before I could go back to discover the results.
& # 39; Then I was told that they had found cancer cells.
Mrs. Hughes, photographed when she was younger, increased her routine at the gym 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 lost weight at Christie's Hospital in Manchester while tests were being conducted
& # 39; I didn't know what that meant, but my father and mother burst into tears while I only asked a lot of questions about what was going to happen. & # 39;
Ovarian cancer occurs when cells grow in the ovaries and multiply uncontrollably, producing a lump of tissue called a tumor.
Most cases of ovarian cancer occur in women who have already gone through the menopause and the risk is greater if someone in the family has had it.
About 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and 22,530 in the US.
Mrs. Hughes underwent six laps of debilitating chemotherapy while being supported by the children's cancer organization, CLIC Sargent.
She was forced to resume college for another year, 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; back up & # 39 ;.
Mrs. Hughes is now working for the CATS campaign in Manchester, a charity that aims to raise 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 have been cancer free and do my best to use my experiences to help others.
& # 39; When I was 19, I had never heard of ovarian cancer, it doesn't even occur to you, so if I can make more people aware of the signs and symptoms, I'll 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 cancer will already have spread to other parts of the body, reducing the five-year survival rate to 30 percent from 90 percent at the earliest stage.
It is diagnosed so late because the location in the pelvis, according to Dr. Ronny Drapkin, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who has been studying the disease for more than two decades.
& # 39; The pelvis is like a bowl, so a tumor there can become quite large before it becomes really noticeable. Drapkin to Daily Mail Online.
The first symptoms that occur with ovarian cancer are gastrointestinal because tumors can press up.
When a patient complains of gastrointestinal discomfort, doctors are more likely to focus on diet change and propose causes other than screening for ovarian cancer.
Dr. Drapkin said it is only after a patient has undergone persistent gastrointestinal symptoms that they will receive a screening that reveals the cancer.
"Ovarian cancer is often said to be a silent killer because it has no early symptoms, while in fact it is symptoms, they are just very common and can be caused by other things," he said.
"One of the things I tell women is that nobody knows your body as well as you. If you feel that something is wrong, something is probably wrong. & # 39;
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