I ignored ‘harmless’ bloating for months until it was too late – don’t make my mistake
EVERYONE suffers from a stomach ache from time to time, and in most cases it’s nothing to worry about.
But one woman is now urging others to take her lingering discomfort seriously after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Chloe Etheridge began feeling unwell in December 2021.
The 24-year-old said she “ignored” symptoms like bloating and difficulty eating until her stomach pain got too bad.
The graduate did not see her doctor until April 2022, several months after symptoms began.
Chloe said: “I ignored all those things – which wasn’t the right thing to do.
“In April I had really bad stomach pains so I had to go to the emergency room and I found out I had tumors on my ovaries. One was 18 cm long and one was 11 cm long.
“Between April and July we knew something was wrong with me, but we didn’t know exactly what my diagnosis was, which lasted for three months.”
On July 11, 2022, Chloe was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was told to pack her bags and go to Charing Cross Hospital in London for chemotherapy the next day.
The cancer is responsible for 4,100 deaths in the UK each year, which is around 11 a day, according to Cancer Research UK.
There are around 7,495 cases each year and the disease has a 35 percent survival rate, data from the charity shows.
Chloe said she was relieved to get a diagnosis, adding that the wait was hard as she knew the tumor would only get bigger over time.
“I thought it would be a really cinematic moment where you go to the doctor with your mother and cry – but it wasn’t.
“You go into action mode. I had to move on, it’s been a busy time, and I felt numb thinking, ‘Right, we have to move on with this’.”
She has had chemotherapy for six months since her diagnosis.
The 4 Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer You Need to Know
Ovarian cancer symptoms often appear 12 or more times a month, according to the NHS.
The main signs are:
- a swollen stomach or feeling of fullness
- Pain or tenderness in the abdomen or in the area between the hips (pelvis)
- no appetite or feeling full quickly after eating
- an urgent need to pee or having to pee more often
The NHS states you can also suffer from indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, back pain or constant tiredness.
You can also lose weight without trying, or bleed from the vagina after menopause.
The NHS says you should see your GP if you have symptoms of ovarian cancer.
“The doctor said it was one of the most aggressive forms of chemotherapy they could prescribe and it was only available in two hospitals in the UK.
“It was incredibly brutal. My chemotherapy had seven different chemical components.
“The side effects were horrendous, I had nausea, tiredness, hearing loss – I still can’t hear some frequencies.”
On January 12 of this year, Chloe underwent surgery to remove as much of the two tumors as possible.
She said the procedure went “really well” and she is “expected to make a full recovery.”
Chloe now wants to warn others about her symptoms – so they don’t make the same mistake she did.
She urged people not to stop going to their doctor until they get an answer.
She said: “I didn’t realize they were symptoms of cancer. I don’t think young women know the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
“There’s a lot of misconceptions about getting it when you’re old or have a family history.
“I didn’t have any of these. The only thing you need are ovaries.
“I think for women, because we have periods, it’s assumed that we’re meant to live with pain, but that shouldn’t be the case.
“If you’re not feeling well, you should go to your doctor and get it checked out.”
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7211065/ignored-harmless-bloating-my-mistake/ I ignored ‘harmless’ bloating for months until it was too late – don’t make my mistake