For nearly 20 years, a 71-year-old Pennsylvania woman thought she was just overweight, but what was really going on was far more sinister.
Doctors found an ovarian cyst the size of a small human -- 140 pounds -- inside of Mary Clancey's body, Tribune Media reports.
By the time doctors had surgically removed her cyst, the once 350-pound woman had dropped nearly 200 pounds within one day.
"For four days after that surgery, I can't describe it," said Clancey. "It felt like something was empty. My body didn't feel right. I guess I was so used to carrying that weight that I felt totally different."
Clancey recalls how she had previously spent two decades trying to lose weight, but to no avail.
"I tried this, that and whatever was on TV," she recalled. "I exercised and did all sorts of things, and I just kept getting rounder."
Everything changed, however, the day the blood clots that had developed in her legs prompted her to visit the doctor.
Investigations eventually revealed the culprit behind the clots was the same one behind the excess weight.
"I was so shocked when they told me," she remembers. "The first thing I thought was Sigourney Weaver with the Alien. I was so scared."
Luckily, her surgery went well. Now, at about 150 pounds, a relieved Clancy is optimistic about her future and looks forward to resuming old passions.
"I gained 10 pounds since I'm home," she said. "Hopefully, I'll get curvy. I'll be one hot babe eventually."
According to the Guardian, Clancey is just one of many women who mistake symptoms of an ovarian cyst for excess weight.
Sharon Gethings recalls how, at age 37, she'd also thought she was just gaining weight. Yet when she started to notice abnormalities in her belly weight, she grew suspicious.
"It was impossible to ignore it any longer -- my belly was bulging," she writes. "But, unlike excess fat, the bulge didn't disappear when I lay on my back: it just sat there solidly, menacingly, pressing down uncomfortably on my bladder."
After testing negative for pregnancy, a month later a scan revealed she, too, had a large ovarian cyst.
Yet, while Clancey and Gethings' both developed bulges, other women experience cramps, pain and more. Dr. Yael Varnado warns ovarian cysts don't always come with any symptoms, Cosmopolitan reports.
Consequently, it is important for women, particularly those 20 to 35 years old, to receive regular gynecological exams.