Ovarian Cancer at 32 by Brittany Turner

On October 6th, 2022, I ended up in the emergency room for an issue unrelated to ovarian cancer. Since I started puberty at age eight, I've struggled with endometriosis.

On my trip to the emergency room, the doctor did his normal checkup. While doing this, he felt that my abdomen was sensitive in certain areas. I explained that I have advanced endometriosis and that it was probably an ovarian cyst. He decided to order a CT with contrast and a transvaginal ultrasound. The test results concluded that I needed to see my OB immediately due to a large ovarian cyst.

I was seen by my OB three days later. It was determined that my best option was a total hysterectomy at the age of thirty-one, nearly thirty-two, with no children. The hysterectomy was much more complicated because the large fifteen-centimeter ovarian cyst was actually my right ovary. Four tumors were found during my hysterectomy. My OB stated that everything looked normal, and he even told me that my tumors were not cancer before the pathology report came back. Feeling confident when I was discharged from the hospital, I thought the most difficult part was over. On October 20th, 2022 (my 32nd birthday) my world changed forever. I was diagnosed with a rare form of epithelial ovarian cancer called ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC). The stage was fully unknown due to the ovary being drained into my abdomen. This spread my cancer cells.

Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) is a rare form of ovarian cancer associated with endometriosis. I was officially diagnosed after an additional staging/debulking surgery with stage II OCCC. I have no genetic predisposition for this cancer.

On December 14, 2022, I started my first round of chemotherapy out of six. It's strange being a cancer patient at the age of thirty-two and thirty-three. I had major complications during treatment, and my body is having a difficult time adjusting to the trauma it's experienced. On April 17, 2023, I finished six rounds of Carboplatin and Taxol, five blood transfusions, six bone marrow shots, and five fluid infusions.

Having cancer has been the most unexpected journey of my life. My form of ovarian cancer has an extremely high recurrence rate, and I live with that every day. I hope that sharing my story can help at least one woman!

Brittany Turner

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