A woman from Linlithgow, who has beaten ovarian cancer, has teamed up with leading charities to offer some potentially lifesaving advice.
Rebecca Scott (28) was diagnosed with the condition last May and it turned out to be a rare and slow-growing form of the disease.
Yet amazingly, the savvy investment banker is now cancer -free thanks to a combination of surgery and a hormone therapy treatment, more commonly associated with breast cancer, after reading up on its positive results.
Now fully-clued up Rebecca has been working with Stand Up to Cancer and Cancer Research UK’s Beatson Institute to share her story in a film made at its laboratory with scientist Dr Seth Coffelt.
Aiming her advice squarely at young women like herself she said: “If you have persistent symptoms, push for answers, don’t accept a vague diagnosis if you feel you know something is wrong.”
Rebecca herself visited a doctor on and off for years over stomach pain – but the last of these visits ultimately and unexpectedly ended up with her in an oncology ward.
Doctors removed an ovary only to see the condition spread to the pelvis .
Specialists undertook a full hysterectomy, prompting an early menopause.
Rebecca said: “When I first found out this would happen I was devastated. What would happen to my body?
“I got off quite lightly really. It mainly affected my sleep. I had hot flushes and heart palpitations. It wasn’t great but it could have been worse.
“I try not to get too swept up in it. I don’t feel like it has ruined my life.”
Crucially, the treatment that has followed did not involve chemotherapy after Rebecca sought a second opinion while doing her own research about its success rate on this form of cancer.
Rebecca said: “I decided to take a the hormonal treatment Letrozole , a breast cancer drug that has shown good results in small studies for ovarian cancer.”
Cancer Research played a crucial role in the underpinning research that led to its development and proved its success in clinical trials.
Rebecca said: “I’ll be on the treatment as long as it works. I get some joint pain and tiredness because it prolongs the menopausal symptoms.
“I’ve not had to make any big lifestyle changes because of it as long as I exercise, eat well and don’t work long hours.
“I want others to know that life as a twenty-something menopausal woman is still fun and hopefully take some comfort in that when faced with such a difficult prospect.”