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Woman, 32, discovers bloating was a cancerous cyst the size of a FOOTBALL 


A woman who thought her bloated stomach was caused by eating too much during the Covid pandemic actually had a football-sized cancerous cyst in her ovary.

Chanelle Mason, 32, from Hempstead in Hertfordshire, first noticed that her tummy was swollen last summer, but thought she was just gaining weight.

Ms Mason assumed she had ‘eaten too much over lockdown’.

But she grew concerned about rapid bloating and finally went to a doctor in November. She went private after facing a long wait for tests. 

A scan in December revealed she had a 13-inch (32cm) wide cyst in her ovary that was bigger than a football and heavier than a bowling ball. 

Further tests confirmed she had Mucinous ovarian cancer, a rare type that causes a tumour to develop from mucous-coated cells. 

The cancer, which accounts for just three per cent of ovarian cancers, had not yet spread beyond her ovaries, which allowed surgeons to operate safely.

Ms Mason is now cancer-free, although has been left with a 10-inch scar down her stomach. 

Chanelle Mason (pictured), from Hempstead in Hertfordshire, first noticed that her tummy was swollen in September, but thought she was just gaining weight. In December, a scan revealed that she had a 13-inch (32cm) wide cyst in her ovary — bigger than a football

Chanelle Mason (pictured), from Hempstead in Hertfordshire, first noticed that her tummy was swollen in September, but thought she was just gaining weight. In December, a scan revealed that she had a 13-inch (32cm) wide cyst in her ovary — bigger than a football

After having it removed, tests confirmed Ms Mason (pictured) had Mucinous ovarian cancer, a rare type of cancer that causes a tumour to develop from mucous-coated cells

After having it removed, tests confirmed Ms Mason (pictured) had Mucinous ovarian cancer, a rare type of cancer that causes a tumour to develop from mucous-coated cells

Around 200 women in the UK and 600 in the US are diagnosed with the condition Mucinous ovarian cancer every year. 

It tends to cause a large tumour to form, allowing for the cancer to be detected before it spreads in 80 per cent of cases.

WHAT IS MUCINOUS OVARIAN CANCER? 

Mucinous ovarian cancer is a rare form of ovarian cancer. 

It is caused by mucinous cancer cells, which are normally only found in the stomach, intestines and the inner cervix, which form a large tumour.

It tends to cause a large tumour to form, so is detected before it spreads in 80 per cent of cases.

This means it can usually be treated with surgery alone, without using chemotherapy.

Around 200 women are diagnosed with the condition per year, which accounts for three per cent of all ovarian cancer diagnoses per year.

It is most commonly found in women aged 40 and younger, unlike other types of cancer which mostly affect the over-50s.

Source: Ovacome 

This means it can usually be treated with surgery alone, without using chemotherapy.

Speaking today, Ms Mason said: ‘I started feeling unwell in the middle of September.

‘I noticed a lump but it went when I pushed it so I thought nothing off it.’

Ms Mason assumed she had ‘eaten too much over lockdown’. But by Halloween, none of her clothes fit.

Ms Mason turned to her GP on November 26, who organised for a physiotherapist to call her back the same day.

After hearing that Ms Mason was bloated, the team told her to come in for a consultation. 

Doctors were left baffled when Chanelle arrived and looked ‘full term’ but had produced multiple negative pregnancy tests. 

She said: ‘My doctor felt it and said “it looks muscular from where you’re pointing” but because I said being bloated as a symptom again he said “we’ll get you in for an ultrasound”.’

The health service was unable to give Ms Mason an appointment until mid-February, so she decided to go private as she was suffering severe pain.

The scan revealed she had a cyst measuring around 13 inches (32cm) that was pushing against her organs.

The tumour weighed 18lbs (8.2kg), the equivalent to carrying twins or a bowling ball. 

Ms Mason was even more shocked by the diagnosis after two blood tests and an ovarian cancer check had already come back negative.

She had surgery on January 18, by which point the cyst had grown to 42cm. 

It was only after the surgery that medics diagnosed Ms Mason Mucinous ovarian cancer, which can be missed on tests.

Mucinous ovarian cancer, which accounts for just three per cent of ovarian cancers, had not spread beyond Ms Mason's ovaries, allowing surgeons to remove it. She is now cancer-free, although has been left with a 10-inch scar (pictured)

Mucinous ovarian cancer, which accounts for just three per cent of ovarian cancers, had not spread beyond Ms Mason’s ovaries, allowing surgeons to remove it. She is now cancer-free, although has been left with a 10-inch scar (pictured)

Further tests confirmed that her cancer had not spread and was removed with the cyst, which left her with a 10-inch scar down her stomach. 

Ms Mason has now posted a series of videos on TikTok to raise awareness of the rare cancer and share her story with others. 

Her posts have now collected over 400,000 views and tens of thousands of likes. 

Hundreds of viewers commented on the clip to send their best wishes on her recovery.

One said: ‘Well done for sharing and helping others pay attention.’

Another said: ‘Lost my mummy to this silent disease, please ladies listen to your bodies and never miss check ups. Thank you for sharing.’

And another added: ‘Thanks so much for your courage and advice.’

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