Sofía Vergara Opened Up About Being Diagnosed With Thyroid Cancer at 28

The Modern Family alum spoke candidly about her past diagnosis Saturday during the Stand Up to Cancer telecast.

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When Sofía Vergara was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 28, the actress "tried not to panic" at the time, and instead poured her energy into reading up on the disease.

During an appearance Saturday on the Stand Up to Cancer telecast, the Modern Family alum, who is a cancer survivor, opened up about the moment she learned the life-changing news. "At 28 years old during a routine doctor's visit, my doctor felt a lump in my neck," said Vergara, now 49, according to People. "They did a lot of tests and finally told me I had thyroid cancer."

Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the thyroid gland, according to the American Cancer Society, with cancer developing when cells start to grow out of control. Thyroid cancer is also "commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most adult cancers," noted the organization, with women being three times more likely than men to develop it.

At the time of her diagnosis, Vergara decided to learn what she could about thyroid cancer. "When you're young and you hear the word 'cancer,' your mind goes to so many different places," said the actress on Saturday. "But I tried not to panic and I decided to get educated. I read every book and found out everything I could about it."

Although Vergara kept her initial diagnosis private, she feels fortunate that her cancer was detected early, and is grateful for the support she received from her doctors and loved ones. "I learned a lot during that time, not just about thyroid cancer but I also learned that in times of crisis, we're better together," she said Saturday.

Fortunately, as the American Cancer Society has stated, many cases of thyroid cancer can be found early. The organization added that most early thyroid cancers are discovered when patients see their doctors about neck lumps. Other signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer can include swelling in the neck, trouble swallowing, difficult breathing, pain in the front of the neck, or a cough that isn't due to a cold, according to the American Cancer Society.

As for defeating cancer entirely, Vergara said Saturday that it's going to require unity. "We're better together and if we're going to end cancer, it's going to require a team effort."

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