Jess Jata of New York, NY, was diagnosed with Stage 3C low-grade serous carcinoma in January 2021 at the age of 34.
She describes herself as an outgoing, fitness-oriented, career-focused person. As a newlywed she was trying to start a family with her husband right before her diagnosis.
“I was taking the necessary steps to get my mind and body ready for having a child,” she said. “My fertility doctor recommended that I get my ovarian cyst removed, which was determined to be benign by multiple doctors. I went in for what should have been a routine ovarian cyst removal and came out with a borderline malignant tumor diagnosis.”
A gynecologic oncologist performed another surgery and diagnosed her with stage 3C ovarian cancer.
“I was shocked and confused. I had gotten multiple opinions and tests and all showed what appeared to be a benign dermoid (skin-cell based) cyst,” she said. “I have cancer in my family and immediately worried that I had somehow missed something. Even genetic testing didn’t show much. I felt unlucky and scared.”
After another surgery, this time a total hysterectomy, Jess went through six rounds of chemotherapy and has had no evidence of disease since June 2021. She tries not to get stressed by little things and to maximize her time with friends and family.
“I don’t live like there’s an end in sight, it can put too much pressure on every situation,” she said. “Just be present and commit to every experience.”