A Viewer Spotted a Lump on Her Neck. Now, She’s Having a Tumor Removed.


When an eagle-eyed viewer noticed something on the broadcast journalist Victoria Price’s neck during a televised segment last month, the woman sent her a short, cryptic email.

“Just saw your news report,” the viewer wrote to Ms. Price, an investigative reporter for WFLA-TV in Tampa, Fla. “What concerned me is the lump on your neck. Please have your thyroid checked.”

“Reminds me of my neck,” the viewer added. “Mine turned out to be cancer.”

Ms. Price heeded the advice: A week later, she saw her doctor. That visit was followed by a first round of blood work and an ultrasound that she said came back as “suspicious.” Then came a referral for a thyroid specialist. On Tuesday, she learned that she had thyroid cancer and that it was spreading to her lymph nodes.

Ms. Price, 28, shared the news this week with viewers.

“My reaction was just like, ‘OK, what’s the game plan?’” she said in an interview on Friday. “Let’s get this done.”

Dr. Dennis Kraus, vice chairman of otolaryngology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, said that a lump like Ms. Price’s would usually be found either during an exam at a doctor’s office or in an ultrasound or another kind of scan seeking other medical issues.

“Someone will have an evaluation for a CT or M.R.I. scan and a thyroid nodule will be picked up,” Dr. Kraus said. “It’s often a very incidental find. Often other than its presence, it’s asymptomatic.”

Surgery is the main treatment for thyroid cancer, with or without radioactive iodine therapy, he said.

When told of Ms. Price, Dr. Sandro Galea, the dean of the Boston University School of Public Health, said that “in terms of the detection, that is an interesting story. Of course, simple visual detection, particularly via media, is likely to be neither sensitive nor specific.”

He added that if people suspect they have unusual masses in their neck, they should have them checked out by a health care provider.

Still, Dr. Galea credited the woman who spotted the lump in Ms. Price’s neck. “Kudos to the alert viewer!” he said.

It’s not the first time a keen viewer has spotted a medical issue of a TV personality.

In April 2019, Deborah Norville, the anchor of the syndicated news program “Inside Edition,” had surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid nodule from her neck. She said she had been monitoring the lump after a viewer noticed it on her neck and brought it to her attention a long time ago.



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