Let’s do another post on celebrity health and, this time, focusing on famous people or celebrities with thyroid cancer. As we usually do, let’s check out what these celebrities are saying about their diagnosis, their treatment, and how their condition has impacted the way they live their lives.
Let’s begin our list with:
Sofia Vergara, actress. In an interview with health.com, tells us how she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and how she is doing now following the removal of her thyroid gland:
How did you learn you had cancer? Because I have a family history of type 1 diabetes—my five siblings have it—I know what its like to have injections every day and to have craziness happen to your body. So I took my son to an endocrinologist to be checked out early. While we were there, the doctor wanted to check me, too, and he found a lump in my neck.
What was your reaction? I felt no symptoms, so I was skeptical about having my thyroid gland removed. Plus, the surgery is dangerous. If the doctor makes a mistake, you can lose your speech, or the mobility in your face. But I did it.
And now you have to take thyroid hormone forever? Yes, I take a Synthroid pill every morning. It controls your bodys metabolism and gives you the levels that you need. An unregulated thyroid can lead to problems with your weight, hair loss, and other things, so they give me a blood test every three months to see where my level is. Actually, I feel very lucky. In a lot of women, the cancer isnt found until around menopause—and by then its too late.
Brooke Burke-Charvet, actress and TV personality. Brooke was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2012. She talked about her experience as a thyroid cancer survivor during a guest appearance on the Katie Couric show in 2013:
My doctor felt a very questionable, tiny little lump. He said to get an ultrasound, and I got an ultrasound, and then they suggested a biopsy. I had my first biopsy and my results came back atypical … they couldn’t confirm whether it was cancer or not.
Some people at that point would do nothing and go back in six months and check it but I wanted more information, so I went and I had seven biopsies done with some new genetic testing and three days later I got the call from the doctor, who said, ‘Yeah, you have 75 percent positive for cancer and you need to have a thyroidectomy.’
It’s something that you never think that you’re going to experience and I sort of went, ‘Oh, okay. I’m gonna call you next week,'” she said. “And the doctor said, ‘No, no, no Brooke. You need to have a thyroidectomy done and you need to schedule this.’
Minus the scar, I’m pretty darn lucky and happy. I took a whole month off, which is big for me because I’ve never done that. … I relaxed and caught up on some great movies and had some downtime with my family and read a little bit and really just slowed down and let my body heal.
Rod Stewart, singer. Rod was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000 and had surgery the same year. In his memoir, Rod: The Autobiography, published in 2012, here’s what he wrote about what’s it like learning about his cancer and his subsequent surgery:
The results of the tests indicated that the ‘something’ on my thyroid gland was a malignant growth: cancer. That piece of news will really do it to you. When the initial numbness had worn off, I felt fearful, vulnerable to a degree that I never had before.