Jenny Keenan, of Boston, Massachusetts, was 25 years old in 2021, when severe cramping and pain, which first seemed to be associated with her IUD and cysts, led to a diagnosis of Stage 3C low-grade serous carcinoma.
Her gynecologist ordered an ultrasound, which showed what seemed to be large cysts and a displaced IUD. They removed the IUD, and the pain disappeared in 24 hours. They waited six weeks, but the cysts had not shrunk and seemed “complex.”
A gynecologic oncologist ordered an MRI which showed “very concerning masses” on her ovaries.
“I went into surgery still thinking they were cysts and woke up after surgery to find out I can never have kids of my own and that I had cancer,” she said. “My IUD saved my life. I did have cramping before, heavy periods, pain during intercourse, but I would’ve kept overlooking it if it weren’t for my IUD displacing.
“I just remember asking my mom what the results were and seeing her in tears,” she said. “I was so drugged up, but I remember that emotional pain like it was yesterday.”
Four weeks after surgery, she started six rounds of chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel.
“I have grown up way more than I wanted to at this age. I have gained weight and can’t eat or drink like I used to because of my new body,” she said. “I see everything through a different lens now, knowing my life can end shortly and cancer will probably come back.”
Not enough people know that this cancer affects young women.
“We’re a population that tends to think we’re invincible and that nothing would happen to us,” she said. “This cancer has no cure. This cancer will come back more likely than not. More research could mean a chance at a new life.”