14-Year-Old Girl's Ovarian Cancer Mistaken for Pregnancy

At 14-years-old, Sarah Martin was embarrassed when she sat in an exam room and talked to a doctor about her hard, bloated stomach, which had been growing in size the past four months.

She was even more embarrassed when the doctors told her she must be pregnant, The Mirror reported.

Even though Martin had not had her period in three months, the test came back negative.

"I definitely wasn't pregnant!" said Martin, who lives in the U.K. "It felt odd and embarrassing that people thought I could be."

Days later, Martin woke up in the night with unbearable abdominal pain and rushed to the hospital. After four days of testing, doctors told Martin she had a 13-inch ovarian tumor, which had spread from her right ovary to her breast bone and bowel.

Martin underwent a four hour operation to remove the mass, which left her with one ovary, one fallopian tube, no appendix, and a scar that stretches from hip to hip.

Martin’s guardian, Janice Paddey, couldn’t believe the news.

"I'd been convinced Sarah had appendicitis. Ovarian cancer was a women's disease and Sarah was just 14. I didn't think children could get something like that,” Paddey said. "Never in a million years had I thought it was cancer."

Doctors agreed that Martin’s case was extremely rare. Additional smaller tumors found in her abdomen meant she would have to undergo chemotherapy. Paddy said she was very concerned with Martin’s fertility.

"At 14, children were the last thing on Sarah's mind, but I knew that one day she would want to be a mother," said Paddey.

Doctors were able to use a less toxic cocktail of chemotherapy drugs that would not affect her ability to have children, and she responded well to the treatment.

The experience has left Martin with a new outlook.

"This has shown me how quickly things can change in your life and to appreciate what you have," she said.

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