A reporter in Florida has thanked a viewer who spotted a cancerous growth on her neck and sent an email urging her to seek treatment.
“A viewer emailed me last month,” WFLA reporter Victoria Price posted online on Thursday. “She saw a lump on my neck. Said it reminded her of her own.”
“Hers was cancer. Turns out, mine is too,” she said, announcing she would be taking time off from work to fight it.
Price said she would undergo surgery on Monday to remove the tumour.
“‘8 On Your Side’ isn’t just a catchphrase at @wfla,” she wrote on Instagram, referring to the station’s call sign number and slogan.
“It’s our cornerstone. But the roles recently reversed when I found a viewer on MY side, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Price said that her work covering the coronavirus outbreak in Tampa had distracted her from caring for her own health.
“As a journalist, it’s been full throttle since the pandemic began. Never-ending shifts in a never-ending news cycle,” Price wrote, adding: “We were covering the most important health story in a century, but my own health was the farthest thing from my mind.”
Doctors told her the tumour was spreading from the centre of her neck and would need to be surgically removed, along with her thyroid and some lymph nodes, she wrote in an article for WFLA.
“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,” she posted.
“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?”
Thyroid cancer is far more common in women than men, Price reported, adding that roughly 75% of all cases diagnosed in the US this year have been women.
“So ladies…#CheckYourNeck!” she wrote, adding that she expects to return to work in a week.
This is not the first time that a watchful viewer has give helpful medical advice to a broadcaster.
In 2018, former Liverpool defender and football pundit Mark Lawrenson thanked a doctor who gave him a cancer diagnosis after watching him on BBC One’s Football Focus.
In 2013, cable news host Tarek El Moussa was alerted to a lump on his neck by a nurse who had seen him on the home makeover show Flip or Flop.
“I thought it was something that needed to be brought to his attention,” nurse Ryan Reade told NBC.
El Moussa has now recovered from stage-2 thyroid cancer.