Philadelphia (WTXF ) At just 24 years old, one local woman knew something just didn't feel right and she was correct. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. But it turns out she was very lucky and beat it.
Ashley Steinberg said that in 2012, she noticed that her stomach seemed to be growing but she did not feel any pain. She thought it was too much junk food, so just waited for her annual gynecologist appointment, which was only a few weeks away.
Not long after, at her annual gynecological exam, her gynecologist noticed that her stomach was not just bigger but also hard. Ashley was sent for an ultrasound. That is where she discovered that she had a tumor the size of a melon growing on her right ovary, along with a series of small cysts or borderline tumors on her left ovary.
Ashley discovered that her tumor required a bit more than just removing the mass and she came to the realization that she had cancer and that she would be losing her right ovary.
Despite all of this, Ashley was actually pretty lucky. Most ovarian cancer diagnoses do not occur until stage three or four due to a lack of a uniform way to test for it. Ashley’s cancer was found at stage one and only contained to one ovary. She did not need chemotherapy or radiation.
However, some of her luck did run out when, in the same year as her original surgery, her cancer came back in her left ovary. Ashley had to have that ovary removed as well as her appendix and a few other small tumors.
Ashley went into surgical menopause, but luckily this is something that there are treatments for. Every three months Ashley has to go to the gynecologists and will be on birth control until she is 50 to safely regulate her hormones.
Ashley is now two years cancer-free and is working at speaking out for more funding and research for better, more reliable screening for the aggressive and deadly disease. She say she hopes to help other women who may be in her situation and don’t know it.