Woman who 'ignored' cancer symptoms for months urges other women to see a doctor
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A young woman who 'ignored' what turned out to be the tell-tale signs of ovarian cancer is warning others of the often overlooked symptoms.
At this point, things were so bad that she visited A&E in April of last year, where she had an ultrasound that revealed she had tumours on her ovaries.
While she is expected to make a full recovery, following chemotherapy and surgery earlier this month, she wants to raise awareness of the disease.
This is because, looking back, she began to experience ovarian cancer symptoms as early as December 2021.
However, her decision not to see a doctor meant that she was not officially diagnosed with the potentially fatal disease until July 2022.
Chloe said: "I ignored all of [the symptoms] - which wasn't the right thing to do.
"In April, I had really bad stomach pain so I had to go to A&E and I found out I had tumours on my ovaries. One was 18cm long and one was 11cm long.
"Between April and July, we knew there was something wrong with me, but we didn't know exactly what my diagnosis was which took three months."
Chloe said that treatment was immediate when she was diagnosed with cancer and she had to begin chemotherapy the very next day.
"I was relieved to finally get a diagnosis," she said. "The waiting was horrible and knowing all the time it is growing bigger I wanted to get started on the treatment.
"I thought it would be a really cinematic moment where you go to the doctor with your mum and cry - but it was nothing like that.
"You go into action mode. I had to get on, it was a busy time, and I felt numb thinking, 'Right we need to get on with this'."
Chloe was specifically diagnosed with germ-cell ovarian cancer - a form of the disease that 'mainly affects young women and children'.
"The doctor said it was one of the most aggressive forms of chemo they could prescribe and it is only available at two hospitals in the UK," she said of her treatment.
"It was incredibly brutal. My chemotherapy had seven different chemical components.
"The side effects were horrendous, I had nausea, fatigue, hearing loss - I still can't hear some frequencies now."
Thankfully, however, with this treatment and surgery to remove the tumours, which went 'really well', she is officially on the mend.
Chloe explained that she is hoping that others can learn from her story, and if they experience anything remotely like her symptoms, they will seek help before it's too late.
"I did not realise they were symptoms of cancer," she admitted. "I don't think young women know the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
"There are a lot of misconceptions about getting it when you're old or having a family history.
"I didn't have any of them. The only thing you need is ovaries.
"I think for women because we have periods, it is assumed that we are meant to live with pain but that should not be the case.
"If you are feeling uncomfortable, you should go to your doctor and get it checked out."
You can find out more about ovarian cancer from the NHS.