A surgeon may have saved a woman’s life when he noticed a cancerous tumor on her neck as he watched her on T.V.
New York-based ear, nose and throat surgeon Dr. Erich Voigt was watching Beachfront Bargain Hunt when he spotted a shadowy lump on the neck of one of the house-hunters.
Worried it could be a sign of a serious condition, Dr. Voigt became determined to track her down, but only the woman’s first name was featured on the show, he told ABC News. So, he shared a clip of the segment on his Facebook page in the hope someone might know how to reach her.
“I am watching a tv show and notice this woman has a left thyroid mass. She needs a sonogram and fine needle biopsy. I wonder if she knows and hope it’s benign,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
A user of the social media website later alerted Dr. Voigt the woman was Nicole McGuiness, 32, of Havelock, North Carolina. McGuiness had already survived brain cancer, but the lump had not yet been spotted.
Doctors then diagnosed her with thyroid cancer.
In a follow-up status on his Facebook page, Dr. Voigt wrote he “felt obliged” to let her know about the lump.
“She will be seeing a surgeon and getting appropriate treatment and I hope she will be cured! Awesome power of Facebook and good people!”
He added in a later post that what he did was “nothing more than what doctors and nurses and so many other people are doing every day. Many people care and help others. It’s so simple. The good stories are often overlooked because of the impact of the bad negative stories.”
The American Cancer Society estimates that around 53,990 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in 2018, with 40,900 of those being in men. Around 2,060 people will die of the condition.
The symptoms of thyroid cancer include a lump in the neck that sometimes grows quickly, swelling in the area, and pain that can sometimes reach the ears. A hoarse voice which does not fade, trouble swallowing and breathing, and a constant cough not caused by a cold are also symptoms of the disease.
.node-type-article .article-body > p:last-of-type::after, .node-type-slideshow .article-body > p:last-of-type::aftercontent:none