Most stories about viewers commenting on a television star’s appearance don’t end with a public “thank you.”
As Fox News reports, Debra Norville, the anchor of “Inside Edition,” recently appeared in a video on the show’s YouTube channel to explain that she is taking a break. Norville needs surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid nodule on her neck. And her first warning that something could be wrong came from a viewer.
In the video, Norville talks about the fact that we now, “live in a world of ‘see something, say something.'” And in this case, she’s, “really glad,” of that:
“When you work on television, viewers comment on everything — your hair, your makeup, the dress you’re wearing. And, a long time ago, an ‘Inside Edition’ viewer reached out to say she’d seen something on my neck. It was a lump.”
Norville continued, saying that she’d never noticed the lump, but got it checked out. The doctor told her that it was a thyroid nodule.
At the time, the nodule was benign. But Norville and her doctor were now aware of it, so when it became cancerous, they were ready to act.
“For years, it was nothing,” Norville explained. “Until recently, it was something. The doctor says it’s a very localized form of cancer.”
The nodule required surgery to remove, but Norville won’t have to undergo additional cancer treatment.
“There will be no chemo, I’m told no radiation, but I will have surgery and I’ll be away for a bit,” Norville said, adding that her colleague will be taking over the anchor seat until her return.
She added, “If you believe in prayer, please say one for me and for my surgeon and I thank you very much.”
According to the American Cancer Society, thyroid nodules are lumps in the thyroid gland. Most are benign, but two or three out of 20 are cancerous.
Thyroid nodules can be developed by people of any age, but are most common in adults. Only about one in ten adults have nodules large enough that they can be felt by a doctor.
Benign thyroid nodules can usually be left alone and watched so long as they aren’t producing any symptoms of more serious illness.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a thyroid nodule is more likely to be cancerous if it is hard, stuck to nearby structures, if you have a family history of thyroid cancer, if your voice has changed, if you are younger than 20 or older than 70, if you are male, or if you have a history of radiation exposure to the head or neck.
Norville’s surgery was scheduled for Tuesday. Following the procedure, Norville had an update on Instagram: “Everything went great. Here with my best friend. (Posted by my assistant, Hannah … I am NOT on social media right now.)”