Janna’s story

In Blog, Our Stories by karineumeyer

Janna Campbell of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was diagnosed with stage 3B low-grade serous ovarian cancer in 2020 at the age of 35.

As a young lawyer about to make partner at her law firm, Janna had laparoscopic surgery to diagnose what doctors thought was endometriosis. Janna went over two years undiagnosed despite textbook ovarian cancer symptoms because doctors did not believe anything serious was wrong because she was too young.  She was often told to change her diet, take different medications, reduce stress, and exercise.  

After her laparoscopic surgery, Janna went on to have 4 more cancer related surgeries. Janna endured a total of 5 surgeries, 3 of which were considered major, in 14 months.

 Prior to her first cancer debulking surgery, she was told that she had only a 10% chance of receiving an ostomy.  However, the cancer metastasized to most of her colon, and she received an emergency ileostomy.  Luckily, the ileostomy was reversed 3 months later. 

Janna also began taking Letrozole for her cancer treatment.  However, she had to discontinue it due to “horrible side effects,” including osteoporosis which continues to cause daily pain and discomfort.

Unfortunately, because of the number of abdominal surgeries, Janna suffered from major complications that resulted in a major abdominal wall reconstruction surgery.  Sadly, Janna is no longer able to have children, and will remain under surveillance for the remainder of her life in order to detect a cancer recurrence; which she has been told is extremely likely.           

“Ovarian cancer was never discussed as a potential diagnosis,” she said. “It was a complete shock.” 

Janna stressed how essential it is to fund research to increase survival rates.

“Ovarian cancer is deadly, under-researched, under-funded, difficult to treat, and has a very low survival rate,” she said. “I hope a cure will be discovered so that other ladies do not have to go through the pain and trauma this cancer has caused me and my family.”