Tarek El Moussa has shared the email he received from a fan who had noticed a cancerous tumor in his neck – and possibly helped save his life.
The star of Flip or Flop was diagnosed shortly afterwards with stage III thyroid cancer, and later also testicular cancer.
El Moussa, 37, told the story in a clip for the digital video series Chasing the Cure Presents: Saved By a Stranger, a run-up to the new medical series with a similar name, Chasing the Cure.
In the clip, which was exclusively shared with People, El Moussa said he received the message from a nurse in 2013 during season 2 of the HGTV show that he is hosting with his now ex-wife Christina.
He reads the email aloud: & # 39; This is not a joke. I am a registered nurse. I have watched Flip or Flop. I have noticed that Tarek, the host, has a large lump on his thyroid gland and he has to have it checked. & # 39;
El Moussa is now cancer free and says he hopes that sharing his story will encourage others to be proactive about their health.
HGTV star Tarek El Moussa, 37 (left and right), shared the story of receiving an email from a fan in 2013 who saw a lump in his neck for the digital video series, Chasing the Cure Presents: Saved by a Stranger. It is a run-up to the new medical series, Chasing the Cure, which will focus on patients presenting their strange strange symptoms to top doctors.
He arranged a doctor's appointment for the following day and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer shortly thereafter. Pictured: El Moussa in the hospital
El Moussa said in the clip that his & # 39; heart fell & # 39; immediately after reading the e-mail. He arranged a doctor's appointment for the next day.
& # 39; I knew that if a nurse took the time, energy, and effort to send an e-mail from Texas to mention my neck, something was probably wrong, & he said.
Doctors diagnosed El Moussa with stage III thyroid cancer in 2013.
Thyroid cancer affects the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ at the base of the neck that produces hormones.
Women are anywhere from two to three times more likely to develop the rare cancer than men.
Symptoms include a lump or swelling at the front of the neck, swollen glands, inexplicable hoarseness, and difficulty in swallowing.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 52,000 cases will be diagnosed in 2019 and approximately 2,200 people will die.
The five-year survival rate for people with thyroid cancer is 98 percent.
Later that year, El Moussa was also diagnosed with testicular cancer.
& # 39; I got 50 pounds on the cancer side (effects) that season, had two surgeries and went through a radioactive iodine treatment, & # 39; he wrote on Instagram post in March.
& # 39; I was very ill with terrible migraine and sick every day. But I said to myself, whatever you can't stop !!! & # 39;
Later that year, El Moussa (left and right) was also diagnosed with testicular cancer. The star of Flip or Flop underwent two operations and radiotherapy and is now almost six years later cancer free
El Moussa (photo) said he hopes that sharing his story will encourage others to be proactive about their health
After nearly six years of treatments and follow-ups, El Moussa was eventually declared cancer-free.
& # 39; If she didn't send that email, there's a chance I wouldn't do this interview now, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; If she didn't send that email, there might be other people who would never have discovered they had cancer because I didn't have my story. & # 39;
The father of two says he hopes that by sharing his story, he can encourage others to keep an eye on their health.
& # 39; I'm very happy to share my story, because maybe I can save a new life & # 39 ;, El Moussa told People.
& # 39; At the end of the day I know the power of TV and I know the power of medicine. I know the power of people, and when you combine all three, life is changing and it is absolutely incredible. & # 39;
Chasing the Cure, which will be anchored and performed by Ann Curry, contains 10 episodes that connect patients with unexplained symptoms to top doctors.
The live episodes have an interactive element for viewers with which they can ask questions via Facebook, Twitter and the website of the show.
It will premiere on Thursday 8 August at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT on TNT and TBS.
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