Television personality Brooke Burke-Charvet, co-host of Dancing With the Stars, announced Thursday that she has thyroid cancer. The 41-year-old mother of four will undergo surgery to have a thyroidectomy, a procedure to remove part or all of the thyroid gland.
“Thyroid cancer is on the rise in the U.S,” according to Dr. Robert Wascher, surgical oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Goodyear, AZ.
In 2012, nearly 56,000 people will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer which has a more than 95% long-term survival rate. It is more prevalent in women than men.
“If I had to get cancer, that would be the one to get,” said Wascher.
In the early stages, thyroid cancer doesn’t have symptoms but in the later stages, patients might notice a lump in the neck area, enlargement of the neck or difficulty swallowing. Burke-Charvet says in a You Tube video that she found a lump on her neck in July and waited to get it checked out.
Current treatment for thyroid cancer is removal of the thyroid and a radioactive iodine treatment to kill any microscopic cancer cells left behind said Wascher.
The thyroid, which is found in the neck, produces hormones that help control the body’s metabolism. It’s a butterfly-shaped organ in the center of the neck toward the front.
Click here to watch Brooke Burke-Charvet’s video.