Florida news reporter diagnosed with cancer after viewer spotted lump on air
A Florida news reporter has an eagle-eyed viewer to thank for her cancer diagnosis.
WFLA reporter Victoria Price revealed on Twitter that she will undergo surgery Monday to remove a cancerous tumor from her neck, in addition to her thyroid and some lymph nodes, after a concerned viewer brought it to her attention following an on-air broadcast.
"A viewer emailed me last month," Price wrote Thursday. "She saw a lump on my neck. Said it reminded her of her own. Hers was cancer. Turns out, mine is too."
The investigative reporter said she's been so consumed with covering the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that she didn't even consider her own health was amiss.
"As a journalist, it's been full throttle since the pandemic began. Never-ending shifts in a never-ending news cycle," Price wrote. "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."
But, thanks to the email, Price learned from doctors that a "tumor is in the middle of my thyroid, pushing the glands up and out," creating a "subtle protrusion" that caught the viewer's attention. And Price said she found it at a crucial time: "Doctors say it's spreading."
"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," Price said. "I will forever be grateful to the woman who went out of her way to email me, a total stranger. She had zero obligation to, but she did anyway."
Price explained that doctors are confident this will be her "first and last procedure."
The Boston University alum shared a screenshot of the brief email that prompted her to seek treatment:
"Hi, just saw your news report. What concerned me is the lump on your neck," the viewer's message said, according to a screen grab shared by Price. "Please have your thyroid checked. Reminds me of my neck. Mine turned out to be cancer. Take care of yourself."
This is not the first instance of a viewer diagnosing a television personality.
In 2019, "Inside Edition" host Deborah Norville revealed that she successfully removed a cancerous thyroid nodule from her neck after a viewer noticed a lump in her neck and encouraged her to get it checked out.
In 2013, a fan who happened to be a registered nurse noticed a lump on HGTV star Tarek El Moussa's neck while watching a marathon of "Flip or Flop." She wrote the show's producers, urging El Moussa to get it checked out.
As a result, El Moussa discovered he had thyroid cancer.
This story originally published to usatoday.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.