Model Elly Mayday says listening to her instinct saved her life from a rare form of cancer.
Mayday, 27, suffered from excruciating pain in her abdomen and lower back for two years, ABC News reports. The pain sent her into the emergency room several times. However, each time Mayday saw a doctor, she was sent away with painkillers but no diagnosis.
"I started to complain about my stomach hurting as well as my back, and I was able to go into a CT scan," she told ABC News.
An ovarian cyst was found, and a biopsy determined the model had a rare form of stage 3 ovarian cancer. She was 25 at the time.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton noted that it is unusual but not impossible for ovarian cancer to afflict someone as young as Mayday, according to Independent Journal.
"Ovarian cancer is classically and commonly dismissed as being attributed to something else," Ashton said.
The key symptoms associated with ovarian cancer include pelvic pain or pressure, bloating and increased urination, Ashton added.
Mayday was diagnosed in June 2013, according to ABC News. She underwent a hysterectomy followed by three months of chemotherapy, losing 60 pounds in the process.
While Mayday continued to model throughout treatment, she said that her main focus was greater.
“When you are stripped down to absolutely nothing -- to no hair, to scars -- it didn’t matter if I had a career modeling after this; it just mattered if I was alive,” she said. “At some points, I didn’t feel like myself.”
Now in remission, the model says she is trying to inspire other women.
“It’s extremely important to trust your gut,” Mayday said. “When you have confidence, you can take on the world and you can take on cancer.”