Shock diagnosis for teenager after 7kg cancerous tumor is removed


In just a few months, her life has changed dramatically and she is no longer the carefree 16-year-old she once was.

Carien Jacobs from Sasolburg in the north of the Free State found out she had cancer of the ovaries after a 7 kg tumor was removed from her intestines.

The cancer diagnosis didn’t just catch the petite brunette off guard. Her whole family was devastated by the news, says her mother, Chrissie Jacobs, by phone.

She was right next to Carien’s hospital bed in the Universitas hospital when RNews called her on Tuesday.

Carien was admitted on Tuesday morning and was waiting to be scanned so that it could be determined at what stage her cancer is.

“When we got on the hospital bus this morning, we cried a lot… she has now told me she doesn’t want to be here,” says an emotional Chrissie.

In November last year, she noticed her daughter’s stomach started to swell. Only gradually at first, but by Christmas Carien was uncomfortable. Since then, Carien, a learner at the Afrikaans Hoërskool Sasolburg, has not yet been able to return to school.

“The tumor started to press all her organs… it looked like my child was expecting twins.”

And as the tumor grew bigger and bigger in her abdomen, Carien became sicker and sicker. She struggled to keep her food down and lost more than 20 kg in a few weeks.

Chrissie took her to the doctor and a sonar found it was a tumour. What the sonar could not show, however, was the cause of the tumor.

Carien was admitted to the Boitumelo State Hospital in Kroonstad in January, where she underwent tests for almost two weeks. She was then transferred to the Universitas hospital in Bloemfontein and operated on a week later, on January 31.

It was only three weeks later, when she returned for her follow-up visit, that she was told the results of all the tests.

The tumor was malignant and she had ovarian cancer. This news shook the family, because Carien’s right ovary had to be removed along with the tumor.

“The doctor told her that if she ever wanted to have children one day, it would be difficult for her to get pregnant.”

Moreover, it is not yet certain whether the chemo treatment will have any further impact.

“We are still waiting for the results of the final tests and should know what awaits her by Wednesday.”

The family will then also know how much they have to budget for fuel to transport Carien between home and hospital for her treatments.

Because although father Willem currently has a steady job, the family’s income is not large. And if the hospital van is not available, they depend on friends and family to transport them.

It is for this reason that Chrissie started a fundraiser on Back-a-Buddy to assist her daughter.

“I know it’s incredibly difficult for us right now, but we will get through this too, I just want to be able to help my child to the best of my ability,” says Chrissie.