A British woman in her 20s who naturally thought she was pregnant… It turns out it was ‘this cancer’ – Health Chosun VRESP TODAY

General cancer

A British woman in her 20s who naturally thought she was pregnant… It turned out that it was ‘this cancer’

Reporter Lee Hae-na

(Overseas Topic)


Emma Coleridge (24), who lives in the UK, found out late that her swollen belly was due to ovarian cancer, not pregnancy. / Photo = Daily Express

The story of a British woman in her 20s who had a swollen belly as if she were pregnant and found out late that she had ovarian cancer has been revealed.

According to the Daily Express, in 2023, Emma Coleridge (24), who lives in England, had a stomach so swollen that it looked like she had a watermelon in her stomach. “She felt like there was a ball in her stomach and she started to urinate a lot afterwards,” she said. Doctors assumed she must be pregnant, but several pregnancy tests showed she was not pregnant. While she was waiting for a hospital check-up, Emma’s abdominal pain was so severe that she went to the emergency room, where she learned that the bulge in her stomach was caused by ovarian cancer. An ultrasound revealed a large, malignant tumor on her ovary. She even underwent a CT scan and found that the cancer had spread to the lining of her stomach. She said Emma had a tumor on her ovary and one ovary removed in a surgery that lasted five and a half hours. She later underwent a nine-and-a-half-hour surgery to remove her appendix, part of her intestines, and remove her entire uterus. “I thought ovarian cancer only happened to older people,” she said. “She wants people to know that younger people can get ovarian cancer too,” she said.

In fact, the number of ovarian cancer patients in their 20s and 30s is increasing in Korea. Ovarian cancer often has no symptoms in the early stages, making early detection difficult, and by the time you visit the hospital with symptoms, there is a high probability that it has already progressed. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include ▲bloated stomach ▲bloating ▲feeling full ▲difficulty eating ▲abdominal pain ▲frequent need to urinate ▲sudden feeling of needing to urinate. In most cases of ovarian cancer, surgery is performed to initially remove the cancer. If the cancer has grown a lot or has spread to multiple locations, a tissue examination is performed through laparoscopic surgery, anticancer drugs are administered to reduce the size of the cancer, and then surgery to excise the tumor is performed. In some cases, targeted treatment is administered. After treatment, you must undergo periodic checkups to check for recurrence of cancer.

Ovarian cancer is a cancer that grows so rapidly that it sometimes cannot be detected in the early stages even when tested every 1 to 2 years for early diagnosis. Receiving regular gynecological examinations helps in early diagnosis of gynecological cancer, including ovarian cancer. If a family member has ovarian, breast, uterine, or colon cancer, consult a specialist to determine whether the cancer is hereditary and to prescribe oral contraceptives, prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy, or hysterectomy to lower the risk of cancer.

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