Dancing With the Stars host Brooke Burke-Charvet took to YouTube this week to tell fans she's recently been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The 41-year-old mother, performer, and fitness guru says that during a routine physical, her doctor discovered a tiny nodule on her thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland on the front of the neck that's responsible for hormone secretion.
A biopsy and follow-up tests revealed that the lump was cancerous. “I never, ever, ever thought I was going to get that phone call with bad news,” Burke-Charvet said in her video. “But I’m ready to deal with it, and I’m going to be fine.”
Although more than 56,000 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer annually in the U.S., the cancer develops slowly and fewer than 1,800 die each year.
“Doctors say this is a good kind of cancer to have,” Burke-Charvet says. “Good cancer—that sounds so crazy! But my doctor did tell me that this is a happily-ever-after kind of thing.”
Thyroid conditions can be hard to diagnose and are often missed by doctors, but the most common problems include hypothyroidism (where the thyroid underproduces thyroid hormones) and hyperthyroidism (an overproduction of hormones).
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If you're pregnant, over 30, or have a family history of thyroid abnormalities, it's important to give your neck a self-check annually. Learn how to perform a self-check and if you notice anything suspicious, visit your doctor immediately.