Lorna Nickson Brown was only 26 and felt totally healthy when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. So she was understandably shocked when the doctor delivered the bad news.
“This isn’t what I thought cancer looked like,” she said. “I didn’t feel ill.”
But little did she know, she was actually exhibiting one of the thyroid cancer symptoms for more than a year. And the photographs prove it.
As Brown explained on Twitter, the photo on the left shows a subtle bump on her neck, which is a sign of a problem with a thyroid.
Brown explained that her mom was actually the first to notice said lump. And when she went in for a checkup, the doctor confirmed it to be a thyroid nodule, or an abnormal growth of cells. Though these nodules can be benign, the one on Brown’s neck was larger than normal and felt very hard to the touch, prompting medical professionals to inspect it more closely.
And indeed it was revealed to be cancerous.
Thankfully, Brown was able to go in for surgery to get the lump removed, as she showed in the Twitter photo on the right. She’s now been in remission for more than a year.
But Brown is opening up about the sneaky sign to raise awareness for people to pay attention to not-so-recognizable thyroid cancer symptoms.
For instance, other signs include a pain in the front of the neck, difficulty swallowing, trouble with breathing, vocal hoarseness, and a persistent cough that isn’t part of a cold.
Good for her! Knowledge is power for all of us.
via Refinery 29
NEXT: See celebrities who are cancer survivors below.
Edie Falco: Breast cancer, 2004 Falco kept her treatment a secret from her Sopranos co-stars. “Surviving cancer has a way of making you re-prioritize," she's said. In her case, it meant starting a family.
Kathy Bates: Ovarian cancer, 2003; breast cancer, 2012 The actress kept her cancer a secret but after her double mastectomy, she told People magazine: "Breast cancer runs like a river through my family.
Fran Drescher: Uterine cancer, 2000 It took two years and eight doctors before the Nanny star was finally diagnosed. After the experience, she wrote a book and started a cancer foundation.
Rod Stewart: Thyroid cancer, 2000 The rock icon got lucky when his cancer was discovered during a routine scan. He lost his voice for three weeks, and now sings an octave lower than he used to.
Carly Simon: Breast cancer, 1997 After a lumpectomy and chemotherapy, the singer told the New York Daily News she was "stronger than ever. I've always thought of myself as a warrior."
Sheryl Crow: Breast cancer, 2006 The singer, then 44, had just broken up with Lance Armstrong when doctors discovered a tumor. After treatment, she adopted two boys.
Sharon Osbourne: Colon cancer, 2002 The reality TV star had one foot of her colon removed. After discovering she carried the gene for breast cancer, she had a double mastectomy.
Hugh Jackman: Skin cancer, 2013, 2016 Jackman was filming X Men when a makeup artist pointed to a red mark on his nose. It turned out to be basal cell carcinoma. He now gets skin checks every three months.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro: Prostate cancer, 2003 De Niro, then 60, credited his complete recovery to early detection.
Christina Applegate: Breast cancer, 2008 The actress was only 36, but she had the BRCA gene mutation--her mom was a breast cancer survivor. She opted for a double mastectomy.
Michael C Hall
Michael C. Hall: Hodgkin's lymphoma, 2010 Hall used a break during Dexter to go through treatment. Getting a Golden Globe two-thirds through it gave him a "shock of positive energy."