According to a story from the Evening Times, Rebecca Scott was only in her upper twenties when she was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It is generally uncommon for ovarian cancer to appear in women that are this young, and Rebecca hopes to provide some reassurance for younger cancer patients.
About Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer can appear on or within the ovary. Ovarian cancer rarely causes distinctive symptoms in its early stages, so many patients are often diagnosed with advanced disease. The risk of getting ovarian cancer is connected to how long a woman has ovulated during her life; women who ovulate for longer periods are at greater risk. Late menopause or early puberty are risk factors, as are not having children, fertility medication, certain genetic variants and mutations (such as BRCA mutations), and exposure to talc, herbicides, and pesticides. Some symptoms of ovarian cancer include fatigue, bloating, a feeling of fullness, loss of appetite, indigestion, abdominal swelling, and pelvic pain. Treatment can include chemo, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy. There are many different kinds of ovarian cancer. Five year survival rate is 45 percent in the US. To learn more about ovarian cancer, click here.
When Rebecca was first diagnosed, it was likely that she had actually been experiencing some mild symptoms of ovarian cancer for years beforehand. Over the years, she had visited doctors numerous times to complain of stomach pain, but none of them ever suspected that it could be caused by ovarian cancer.
The diagnosis came as a complete shock. She had expected the visit to be another routine appointment, but doctors detected abnormally high levels of a molecule called CA125 in her blood, which is a telltale sign of ovarian cancer. Rebecca was diagnosed with a rare type of slow growing ovarian cancer called low-grade serous. She endured multiple operations, as the cancer had plenty of time to spread to much of the remainder of her reproductive hardware. Rebecca received a full hysterectomy, which resulted in removal of her womb, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
This meant the Rebecca had to deal with an unusual side effect: early onset menopause. She was concerned about how this would change her body, and she endured many of the typical symptoms, like night sweats, palpitations, and hot flashes. Rebecca and her husband agreed not to save her eggs; she had been unsure about having a child anyway, and if she really wanted one, should could always adopt.
Thankfully, she is now cancer free and is leading a pretty typical lifestyle for a woman of her age. To help support ovarian cancer research, click here.