This little Singapore girl's stomach ache turned out to be ovarian cancer

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“I was shocked. Why would such a young child get this kind of cancer?”

Seven-year-old Xie Ruien was having dinner with her family when she felt a severe stomach ache below her right abdomen.

It got so bad that soon, she could not move, and had to be rushed to hospital emergency.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

'Why would such a young child get this kind of cancer?'

According to Lianhe Wanbao, in March 2017, Xie Ruien was diagnosed with Stage 2 ovarian cancer.

Doctors removed her cancerous right ovary and fallopian tube. She also had to undergo chemotherapy sessions for four months.

Mummy Ms Chen Beiyun, tells Lianhe Wanbao, “I was shocked. Why would such a young child get this kind of cancer?”

Ruien remained brave and cheerful throughout her battle. Mummy Chen though, was a nervous wreck.

She recalls, “I was more afraid of her having to go through chemotherapy than she was.

“When she first started on her chemotherapy, she looked forward to each session because there were many toys at the hospital and she was very happy at the thought of getting to play with them.”

Thankfully, doctors have given Ruien the all-clear for now, and she is slowly recovering. She still needs to go for regular check ups, at least until she reaches adolescence.

Mummy Chen reveals, “Because Ruien’s condition is very rare, the doctors said that they will continue to monitor her until she reaches adolescence. The doctors told us that in normal circumstances, a patient will still have her periods and can conceive after receiving treatment.”

Ovarian Cancer in Children

Childhood ovarian cancer is a rare type of cancer that occurs due to abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth in the ovaries. The underlying cause of childhood ovarian cancer is often unknown, and may be due to genetic factors. 

Ovarian cancer in children is extremely rare. 

Many people with early ovarian cancer exhibit no signs or symptoms of the condition.

Symptoms may include:

  • Painful menstrual periods
  • An abdominal lump
  • Pain or swelling in the abdomen
  • Having male sex traits (i.e. body hair or a deep voice)
  • Early signs of puberty 

Treatment usually depends on the type of ovarian tumor, and the severity of the condition. It may include surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.


Source: Lianhe Wanbao, Stomp, NIH 

Featured image: Screengrab Lianhe Wanbao

Also READ: The common sign of ovarian cancer most women ignore

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