By Rachel Moss
“Nobody knows a woman’s body better than she knows it herself, and if there is something wrong, you have to fight,” says Claire Thompson.
The 38-year-old from Conwy, Wales began experiencing bleeding and bloating in February 2013, soon after the birth of her daughter. She could no longer control her body temperature and changes in mood were impacting her day-to-day life. But the doctors she saw repeatedly diagnosed her with post-natal depression and said her body was simply “changing” after becoming a mother.
It took until 2017 for Claire to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. By this point her symptoms were debilitating. Her bleeding could no longer be managed with sanitary towels so she would wear two incontinence pads at once to work, changing them hourly. She would sit on a plastic bag in case any blood leaked through to her chair and took three changes of clothes to the office each day.
“No matter how many times I went back they kept saying ‘you’ve just had a baby, your body has changed.’” she tells HuffPost UK. “The amount of times I got told it was ‘women’s problems’ or that I was ‘depressed’ was ridiculous.”
Eleven women die each day in the UK from ovarian cancer, making it more deadly than all the other gynaecological cancers (including cervical, womb, vaginal and vulval) combined. Although the disease is most common in women over the age of 50, women much younger are also being diagnosed – that is, when their symptoms are picked up rather than dismissed as less serious.
HuffPost UK spoke to three women in their thirties who’ve had ovarian cancer –Claire Thompson, Ali Coates and Lauren Ridgard – to coincide with the launch of
After Ten GP Visits In 14 Months, I Was Diagnosed With Ovarian Cancer At 25
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