Young women may not think they’re at risk of ovarian cancer. Instead, many associate it with older, post-menopausal women and don’t have a clue what the symptoms are. But in reality, nearly half of all women affected are under 65, according to a recent study, so it’s certainly worth doing our homework.
One young woman helping to raise awareness of the condition is 16-year-old teen model Peyton Linafelter, who had recently been scouted by Kate Upton’s agent when she began experiencing unusual symptoms.
“I couldn’t keep anything down,” she told Fox News. “My stomach was a little expanded. But I just thought I was eating a lot of carbs. I didn’t think anything of it… but each week my stomach got bigger and bigger. By the time it was April, I looked like I was five months pregnant. My lower back hurt a lot and my abdomen was in pain.”
Linafelter was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer on her 16th birthday. The disease, which had spread to her lungs and abdomen, left her with a swollen tummy, was causing her to feel constantly bloated and made her feel full soon after eating.
Unsurprisingly, given her age, Linafelter said she “was in complete shock” upon hearing the diagnosis. “I was in disbelief. I had thought they were in the wrong room or it was a mistake,” she said. “My mom seemed to know something was wrong, like a bigger scale than just ovarian cysts. I guess deep down I did too, but I wasn’t thinking cancer,” reported Fox News.
Linafelter began receiving chemotherapy in May 2016 and by December the cancer had cleared up completely. She is now urging other women to be in tune with their bodies and not to overlook unusual symptoms.
She advised women not to be afraid of going to the doctor if anything seems wrong. “Even if you think it’s something very simple, there could be long term effects. Look after your health and don’t just push it aside."