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Graduate, 24, ‘ignored’ cancer symptoms for ‘months’ — ‘it was wrong’

Cancer may not want to rear its ugly head at first, but once you start noticing red flags, you need to check them out. Chloe Etheridge, 24, from Whitstable, Kent, knows this all too well. A graduate who “ignored” her own cancer symptoms for months now encourages others to go to the doctor if they’re worried.

Ovarian cancer targets two small, oval-shaped organs that store the eggs needed to have children.

Chloe was diagnosed with this type of cancer seven months after she first developed symptoms.

She “ignored” signs such as bloating and difficulty eating until her stomach pain became too much.

Chloe said, “Make an appointment with your GP and don’t stop walking until you get an answer.

“If you feel like you don’t have an adequate response, keep coming back.”

READ MORE: ‘I was in total shock’: Bowel cancer patient wasn’t too worried about his symptom

The graduate explained that the first warning signs, including bloating and abdominal pain, appeared in December 2021.

However, Chloe waited until April, when the pain became too much, to see a doctor.

She said: “I ignored all these things, which was wrong.

“In April, I had a very severe stomach pain, so I had to go to the emergency room and I discovered that I have tumors on my ovaries. One of them was 18 cm long and the other 11 cm.

“Between April and July, we knew there was something wrong with me, but we didn’t know exactly what my diagnosis was.”

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Chloe finally received the grim news on July 11 and was told to pack up and go for chemotherapy the next day at Charing Cross Hospital in London.

She suffered from germline ovarian cancer, which describes a disease in which cancer cells form in the germ cells of an ovary.

Khloe said: “I was relieved when I finally got the diagnosis. The wait was terrible, and knowing it was getting longer, I wanted to start treatment.”

The 24-year-old has since undergone surgery and six months of chemotherapy.

The graduate said: “The doctor said this is one of the most aggressive forms of chemotherapy they can give and is only available at two hospitals in the UK.

READ MORE: Commonly prescribed drugs cause ’emotional dullness’ and could affect millions

“It was incredibly brutal. My chemotherapy consisted of seven different chemical components.

“The side effects were terrible. I had nausea, fatigue, hearing loss – I still can’t hear some frequencies.”

Fortunately, the treatment went “very well” and “she is expected to make a full recovery.”

Now the young woman wants to raise awareness about the symptoms so people can get tested when they see warning signs.

She said: “I didn’t know that these were symptoms of cancer. I don’t think young women know the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about getting it when you are old or have a family history.

“I didn’t have them. The only thing you need is the ovaries.

“I think for women, since we have our periods, it is supposed to be about pain, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

“If you feel uncomfortable, you should see a doctor and get checked out.”

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