WHEN professional singer Sharon Gould first felt unwell it was hard to know what was wrong.

She felt very tired, had little appetite and a persistent cough, which her doctor tried treating with inhalers and antibiotics.

As the weeks went by the 43-year-old mother from Fife felt little better and by May 2011 she sensed something was really wrong. Her abdomen was swollen. Her GP diagnosed constipation and gave her medication, which Ms Gould says did not help.

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By now she could feel a large lump in her stomach. The GP suggested it might be a fibroid – a non-cancerous tumour in the womb – and said he would organise a scan.

However, Ms Gould did not receive an appointment. Instead, one evening that summer when her partner David Graham lent over and brushed her stomach, she leapt in pain. She recalls: "It was excruciating. My partner said to me: 'If it is that sore go and see someone else.'"

Ms Gould sought a consultation with a different GP and he rang her back with details of her scan appointment the same evening.

It revealed a mass in her abdomen. Ms Gould did not find out it was caused by ovarian cancer until almost 10 months after she first experienced symptoms.

"When they told me I was not really sure how I felt," she says. "I have two teenage boys. I have to be strong for them."

Since that day, Ms Gould has been told the cancer is incurable. She is marrying her partner in three weeks. She said: "We have decided not to put anything on hold."

She has a clear message for women: "If you think there is something wrong with your body, no matter what your doctor says, chase it 100%. Your life depends on it."