A woman believes that an “alien-shaped” tumor discovered during a routine appointment to the gynecologist saved her life.
England resident Ellie Taylor-Davis first felt an uncomfortable mass move in her lower abdomen during sex with her boyfriend.
“I felt something were move inside of me and I thought it was really strange – as sex had never felt like that before which freaked me out.” Taylor-Davis recalled, as reported by Mirror.
As she noticed similar symptoms while going to the bathroom, an Internet search led her to believe that she was constipated.
About a month later, a routine visit to the gynecologist unearthed a potentially fatal discovery.
“A short while later when my gynecologist was about to fit the coil, she noticed a mass and asked me to take a pregnancy test,” she recalled. After it came back negative, I was sent for scans and was really worried.”
An emergency ultrasound scan discovered a cancerous tumor on her ovaries and abdomen that was 6.3 inches long, which put undue pressure upon her internal organs.
“I was so shocked by how huge it was,” she said. “I’m only a small person, I’m [five-feet two-inches] and a size six, so to have a [6.3-inch] mass the size of a baby inside of me and not know […] was really shocking.”
The United Kingdom has one of the worst track records for ovarian cancer in Western Europe, with a woman dying from the disease approximately every two hours.
After the initial appointment, several scans discovered carcinoid tumors in her ovaries as well as neuroendocrine tumors in her abdomen. Carcinoid tumors often develop in the gastrointestinal tract and rarely occur in the ovaries, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
“If I hadn’t gone to have the coil fitted the cancer could have spread much further and I’d be none the wiser,” Taylor-Davis said. “I knew something was wrong and the saying ‘you know your body best’ is definitely true, you have to listen to your gut instinct.”
The cancer was caught before spreading to the lymph nodes, so she did not need chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
After having been diagnosed in 2013, her cancer check-up appointments have now been reduced from four times a year to two.
“I’m just thankful I’m in remission and can start returning to a normal life,” she said.