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“After bleeding on the floor of a restaurant, I finally found out the real cause of my extreme periods”

A woman who had periods so heavy that she once passed a blood clot the size of her palm has said she was diagnosed with a rare tumor.

Sarah White, 25, a recruitment consultant from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, had always suffered from heavy periods but became worried when she bled onto the floor of a restaurant in April 2023.

Four months later, an ultrasound revealed that she had an 8 cm benign tumor in her uterus and needed surgery.

But by January 2024, Sarah’s uterus had expanded to almost three times its size and the mass had grown to 13 cm.

While the doctors initially assumed that the tumor was benign, during the three-hour removal operation they discovered that it was actually a rare form of cancer.

She is currently undergoing surgery to remove her ovaries and her uterus, which will impact her dream of becoming a mother.

Sarah White, 25, here with her partner Ryan, 30. (Sarah White/SWNS) Sarah White, 25, here with her partner Ryan, 30. (Sarah White/SWNS)

Sarah White, 25, here with her partner Ryan, 30. (Sarah White/SWNS)

Looking back on her experience with extreme periods, White says, “I had to put my whole life on hold.

“Within half an hour of inserting a tampon, it was pushed out by the amount of blood.

“I bled onto chairs, bedsheets and my clothes.

“I’m relieved to finally have a diagnosis, but it’s killing me that I won’t be carrying a baby now.”

White had suffered from “extremely heavy” periods since she was 14 and was given pain relief medication by her GP.

While this helped her manage her symptoms, she still missed “a lot” of school and time with her friends.

“My periods were always painful even when I was young,” she explains.

“I thought I was just unlucky and it would get easier.

“But as I got older, the bleeding got heavier and I soaked everything.”

White's MRI revealed an 8 cm fibroid in her uterus, which doctors initially thought was benign. (Sarah White/SWNS)White's MRI revealed an 8 cm fibroid in her uterus, which doctors initially thought was benign. (Sarah White/SWNS)

White’s MRI revealed an 8 cm fibroid in her uterus, which doctors initially thought was benign. (Sarah White/SWNS)

After a “huge” clot was passed in April 2023, she knew something was wrong.

“My partner Ryan, 30, and I went out to dinner with his family,” she recalls the incident.

“When we finished, I felt a sharp, stabbing pain in my stomach.

“After everyone left, I stood up and my pants were soaked – I could see the blood dripping onto the floor.

“When I got home, I went to the bathroom and saw that my tampon had been pushed out.

“Moments later, a lump the size of my hand fell to the floor.”

After calling 999 and receiving the all-clear from paramedics, White was advised to see her GP, who referred her for an ultrasound scan in August 2023.

An ultrasound scan revealed a mass in her uterus, which was diagnosed a month later as an 8 cm benign fibroid – a non-cancerous growth.

She was then sent to OSD Healthcare in Hemel Hempstead for an MRI scan for further investigation.

White now wants to encourage other women to pay attention to the symptoms. (Sarah White/SWNS)White now wants to encourage other women to pay attention to the symptoms. (Sarah White/SWNS)

White now wants to encourage other women to pay attention to the symptoms. (Sarah White/SWNS)

Doctors confirmed that surgery would be necessary to remove the fibroid, but while waiting for the appointment, White fainted due to severe blood loss.

“While I was waiting (for the operation), I often called 911 because things were getting worse,” she explains.

“I lost so much blood, my face was swollen and I could hardly walk.

“My period lasted from 7 to 10 to 21 days – it was horrible.

“On January 22nd of this year, I had an emergency ultrasound and my uterus was the size of a woman at 24 weeks’ gestation,” she continues.

The doctors couldn’t see my right ovary because this mass was covering it.

“But it had grown to 13 cm.”

White underwent an open myomectomy – a procedure in which surgeons remove uterine fibroids – at Watford General Hospital in Hertfordshire on February 14, 2024.

However, because the mass looked “unusual,” she was sent for testing and later that month she was diagnosed with low-grade endometrial stromal sarcoma – a rare cancerous tumor.

“After my surgery, my periods stopped and when the doctors said I had a tumor, I was shocked,” she says of her cancer diagnosis.

“Nobody knew if everything was gone and I feared the worst.”

White's uterus had expanded to nearly three times its size and the mass had grown to 13 cm. (Sarah White/SWNS)White's uterus had expanded to nearly three times its size and the mass had grown to 13 cm. (Sarah White/SWNS)

White’s uterus had expanded to nearly three times its size and the mass had grown to 13 cm. (Sarah White/SWNS)

Three weeks later, White underwent a post-operative CT scan at Hemel Hempstead Hospital, which revealed that she had an enlarged lymph node in her abdomen and required a full hysterectomy and removal of her ovaries.

“I found out I still had uterine cancer and an enlarged lymph node,” she says.

“I was devastated.

“The lymph node has returned to its normal size, but my cancer is hormonal. If I don’t have surgery, there is a high risk.

“I’m not ready to have a baby right now, but it breaks my heart that I’ll never get around to it.”

White now wants to encourage other women to “push” for answers when something doesn’t feel right.

“I never thought heavy periods would lead to a cancer diagnosis, but I’m so proud of myself for not sitting idle,” she says.

“If you feel that something is wrong, please don’t settle for it.”

Additional reporting SWNS.