Woman Whose Doctors 'Brushed Off' Her Stomach Growth Learns She Has a 13-Lb. Ovarian Tumor
Blogger Chanté Burkett noticed her stomach had become hard and she was dealing with “severe pelvic pain,” but her doctor thought it was just weight gain
In December, the 33-year-old noticed that her stomach had become "semi-hard," and she was dealing with "severe pelvic pain" and vomiting. Burkett initially thought she had eaten something that wasn't sitting well with her, but the symptoms persisted for weeks.
Over the next six months, Burkett went to her doctor three times in search of a diagnosis, but again and again her symptoms were dismissed, without ever running any tests.
"I complained to my primary care provider about the pain I was having, and they blamed my weight," she told Health. "The second time, they said that maybe I was gassy or bloated, and they recommended that I take some medicine for that."
Burkett didn't see how it could just be gas.
"I was working out and I was losing weight, but I noticed that my stomach wasn't going down," she says. "It was getting round like a pregnant person."
After she was brushed off again on her third visit in July, Burkett decided to go to an urgent care center, where a CT scan showed a large mass. She was directed to a specialist, but two days before her appointment the pain worsened to the point "where I couldn't walk anymore." Burkett went to the emergency room, and doctors said she needed emergency surgery.
"I already lost my mom to cancer, so it was a really scary experience," she said.
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Surgery confirmed that she had a large tumor in her stomach, "the size of a watermelon," she wrote on Instagram, weighing 13 lbs. and measuring 30 cm. Doctors removed the tumor, along with her fallopian tube and right ovary, and testing showed that it was a mucinous cystadenoma, a non-cancerous cystic tumor that can grow in the ovaries.
"This was definitely a scary experience just to know that I would have to surgery to have this removed and what other health conditions that this may bring," she wrote. "I'm thankful that the cyst wasn't cancerous and I'm now fully in good health."
After her ordeal, Burkett wants others to know the importance of advocating for their health.
"I truly hope this post gives you a push to advocate for yourself within the healthcare system," she said. "Demand the proper testing and make sure things are documented."
If her doctors had listened to her the first time, Burkett told Health, her case may not have been as severe.
"My tumor obviously stayed and grew, and it could have been detected earlier," she said. "Advocate for yourself. And if you don't feel like your doctor is listening to you, go elsewhere."