After being told for months by doctors that she was only suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, a 22-year-old woman from England looked up her painful symptoms online and diagnosed herself with ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, she was right—but, by the time an official diagnosis was made, she was told she only had two years to live.
Now 23 years old, Sadie Rance explains she was suspicious after a doctor continually assured her that her incredible stomach pain and constipation were little more than IBS, reports the Daily Mail. She says her pain became so difficult to live with that she turned to the Internet to search for answers.
When she discovered her condition matched what she was reading about ovarian cancer, Rance reportedly insisted on receiving more tests. And, in Septemebr 2013, she finally discovered the grim news: she had stage four ovarian cancer and a tumor the size of a melon had grown on her ovary.
Rance’s doctors were unable to remove the tumor because they reportedly discovered it had attached itself to her internal organs and her cancer had spread to her small bowel, liver, diaphragm, heart and lungs.
Despite being told she only had between one and two years to live, the young woman went through with chemotherapy, which has reportedly shrunk her tumor. She also got married to her boyfriend, whom she had met at university and who stuck by her side throughout this ordeal.
(Sadie Rance with her boyfriend - now husband - Jason)
At first, Rance says she believed her symptoms were the result of traveling to the Australian outback, where she says she changed her diet. But her pain became so unbearable, she says she found herself often doubling over and unable to stand. She had two ultrasounds and blood tests, but nothing picked up the tumor. At one point, Rance says she had gone five weeks without having a bowel movement.
Rance says she was skeptical at first about believing she might have ovarian cancer because it is rare in women under the age of 50. She is now sharing her story in an effort to encourage other young women to be aware of the symptoms of this disease.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer include lower abdominal pain, back pain, irregular periods or vaginal bleeding after menopause, constipation, pain during sex, a swollen abdomen, and a feeling of fullness or lack of appetite. In the early stages of ovarian cancer few, if any, symptoms may be experienced.