She was Diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at Age Five– Now She’s Advocating for More Research

According to a story from, the first sign that Jemima Leydon had ovarian cancer was a stomachache. Her mother Megan assumed that it was just a stomach bug that she had gotten from a classmate at school. However, the pain continued for days, and when Megan took Jemima to the doctor, she was shocked to discover that she had ovarian cancer. Jemima was only five years old.

About Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer can appear on or within the ovary. Ovarian cancer rarely causes distinctive symptoms in its early stages, so many patients are often diagnosed with advanced disease. The risk of getting ovarian cancer is connected to how long a woman has ovulated during her life; women who ovulate for longer periods are at greater risk. Late menopause or early puberty are risk factors, as are not having children, fertility medication, certain genetic variants and mutations (such as BRCA mutations), and exposure to talc, herbicides, and pesticides. Some symptoms of ovarian cancer include fatigue, bloating, a feeling of fullness, loss of appetite, indigestion, abdominal swelling, and pelvic pain. Treatment can include chemo, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy. There are many different kinds of ovarian cancer. Five year survival rate is 45 percent in the US. To learn more about ovarian cancer, click here.

More Research Needed

Jemima was able to survive her bout with ovarian cancer, but only after twelve rounds of chemotherapy. She is seventeen years old today and still goes to the doctor for regular examinations to ensure that the cancer has not suddenly returned. While she is generally healthy, Jemima is well aware that there have not been a lot of major breakthroughs in research or treatment for ovarian cancer lately, even as treatments have improved for other types.

Jemima has shared her story with the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, which is in the midst of a campaign calling for research that will allow for earlier diagnosis and detection. Not to mention, there is not a lot of research on cases such as Jemima’s; getting ovarian cancer at such as young age is highly unusual, but to this day there isn’t a solid understanding as to why it can occur in a five-year-old.

To learn more about the foundation’s activities and their latest campaign, click here.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email