Florida television reporter Victoria Price has thanked an eagle-eyed viewer for identifying the fact she has thyroid cancer.
The 28-year-old reporter with Tampa television news network WFLA said on Twitter she received an email that she “almost ignored” from a viewer who spotted a protrusion on her neck.
The email read, “Hi, just saw your news report. What concerned me is the lump on your neck. Please have your thyroid checked. Reminds me of my neck. Mine turned out to be cancer. Take care of yourself.”
Price followed it up and received a diagnosis of thyroid cancer on July 21.
Price shared the original email and her diagnosis on her Twitter account on July 24.
“A bit of ~personal news~ to share. Turns out, I have cancer. And I owe it to one of our wonderful @WFLA viewers for bringing it to my attention. I’ll be off work for a bit after tomorrow, but I’ll see y’all soon,” she wrote.
Here’s what you need to know:
Price Wrote on Instagram That When She Received the Diagnosis,’My Own Health Was the Farthest Thing From My Mind’
Price said on Instagram she neglected her own health when she took on a new investigative reporter role at the onset of coronavirus, “covering the most important health story in a century.”
Sharing her account and a photo of herself pointing to her neck, she wrote, “‘8 On Your Side’ isn’t just a catchphrase at @wfla. It’s our cornerstone. But the roles recently reversed when I found a viewer on MY side, and I couldn’t be more grateful.” Her statement continued:
As a journalist, it’s been full throttle since the pandemic began. Never-ending shifts in a never-ending news cycle. Adjusting to remote workflows and in my case, taking on a new investigative role. We were covering the most important health story in a century, but my own health was the farthest thing from my mind.
Until a viewer emailed me last month.
She saw a lump on my neck. Said it reminded her of her own. Hers was cancer.
Turns out, mine is too.
COVID created some diagnostic delays but I’ll finally be undergoing surgery this Monday to remove the tumor, my thyroid, and a couple of the nearby lymph nodes. Doctor says it’s spreading, but not too much, and we’re hopeful this will be my first and last procedure.
Had I never received that email, I never would have called my doctor. The cancer would have continued to spread. It’s a scary and humbling thought.
I will forever be thankful to the woman who went out of her way to email me, a total stranger. She had zero obligation to, but she did anyway. Talk about being on your side, huh?
Some People Said They Struggled to Spot the Growth
One Twitter user said that he struggled to see the growth on Price’s neck.
“Not trying to be difficult but I’m sure I’m not the only one – I don’t really see a lump in the picture you shared. Would be good if you can share any additional info on what to look for,” the viewer wrote.
Price agreed the protrusion was “subtle,” making it harder to spot.
“I agree, not the easiest to see. It’s not super obvious unless you know what to look for. This screenshot shows it a bit better. I’m still learning but doc explained that the tumor is in the middle of my thyroid, pushing the glands up and out, hence the subtle protrusion,” she said.
‘Am I Going to Die?’ Price Published Her Own Account of Receiving the Diagnosis
The reporter found herself the center of a breaking news story when she published her own account of being diagnosed with cancer on WFLA.
She recounted that it was her “lovingly-pushy boyfriend” who “forced a phone into [her] hand” and asked her to book an appointment with a doctor.
The doctor initially suspected hypothyroidism, but blood work and an ultrasound revealed something more sinister – “a large and very suspicious-looking nodule growing smack in the center of my thyroid.”
By July 21, Price had a diagnosis of thyroid cancer spreading to her lymph nodes.
She had many initial questions, from whether she would be forced to wear a turtleneck to hide the scars of the operation to remove her entire thyroid to whether she was going to die.
But the prognosis for Price is good, she reported.
“There is no such thing as ‘good’ cancer, but thankfully thyroid cancer is not a lethal cancer. The five-year survival rate is 98 percent and while women are far more likely to develop thyroid cancer, statistically they’re about equally as susceptible to die from it.”
Initially, Price did not know the viewer who contacted her. The woman signed off on the email, “but that was all,” Price said. Her identity has not been publicly revealed.
In her article published on WFLA, Price mentioned sending “an emphatic thank-you email” to her “guardian angel.”
The Tampa Bay Times reported that the woman has since been in touch, and Price hopes the pair will connect following her surgery, which is scheduled for July 27.
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