Woman, 24, Worried About Bloating Found to Have 'Enormous' Ovarian Tumor

A 24-year-old woman who had concerns about bloating to her stomach was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after doctors found an "enormous" tumor.

Hannah Catton, a veterinary nurse living in Australia, who is originally from Faversham in southeast England, was diagnosed with the disease in October last year, Kent Online reported.

Prior to what she described as the "horrific" diagnosis, Catton had made several trips to the doctor because of health issues she was experiencing.

"I was so angry, because for well over two years, I had been suffering from recurrent urinary tract infections and having so many antibiotics thrown at me to fix it," she told Kent Online.

"For more than a year I'd been going to different doctors trying to find [one] who would listen when I was telling them my periods are irregular and something is wrong. The response from them all was 'you're stressed, you're fine, give it time, lose weight.'"

One gynecologist initially diagnosed Catton with a benign fibroid on her uterus, and told her that there was a 90-day wait for surgery.

But in October, 2021, the woman collapsed due to acute pain in her abdomen while she was out horseback riding.

Emergency responders rushed her to a hospital in Melbourne, where surgeons removed a tumor measuring nearly 8 inches across, which had ruptured, and investigated any further evidence of cancer.

Due to the size of the tumor and the fact it had ruptured, Catton is now undergoing life-saving chemotherapy to treat her cancer.

Two of the woman's friends, Luce Tissot and Shelby Dow, have since set up a fundraising page to help her with living costs.

"In just the last few months, Hannah has gone from living as per any other young woman, to having an enormous ovarian tumor removed via hours-long laparotomy surgery, to now going through chemotherapy and fighting the awful disease that is ovarian cancer," the organizers of the GoFundMe page wrote.

Impact of COVID Restrictions

In addition, the family of the 24-year-old can't visit her in Australia due to the country's strict COVID travel restrictions.

"Being from England, and with the COVID-19 pandemic raging, Hannah is going through all of this without her family here, having not seen them for a number of years which has been unimaginably hard for her," Tissot and Dow said.

Despite this, Catton said she had received "fantastic support" from here friends in Australia, including her boyfriend, and all of her loved ones back home.

While her health care costs are covered by medical insurance, her day-to-day living expenses and the costs of multiple medical trips are not at a time when she can't work.

Nevertheless, the veterinary nurse told Kent Online she was "lucky" that her prognosis was good. "Many in my situation are not."

She urged young women to be persistent with doctors if they are experiencing similar medical issues.

"They need to know this is not just a cancer which affects older women," she said.

A woman with abdominal pain
A file photo of a woman with abdominal pain. A 24-year-old woman who had concerns about bloating to her stomach was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. iStock