Sofia Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 28, in 2000. She immediately started treatment (radiation, surgery and a round of medication) to combat the disease and was able to overcome it, though she still takes medication daily to regulate her metabolism.
The America’s Got Talent judge now openly talks about her struggle (she most recently spoke at the Stand Up To Cancer charity telethon), but she only went public with her battle 11 years after her diagnosis, in 2011, and it was for a specific reason.
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"I didn't want publicity because of it," she told Health. "Having cancer is not fun. You don’t want to deal with anything else while you're going through it." It's as simple as that.
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Fast forward 21 years and Sofia now works to support others in the same position, by sharing her own experiences as much as possible.
At the Stand Up To Cancer charity telethon, she said: "At 28 years old during a routine doctor's visit, my doctor felt a lump in my neck.
Sofia Vergara at the Stand Up To Cancer charity telethon in 2021
"They did a lot of tests and told me finally I had thyroid cancer. When you're young and hear the word 'cancer', your mind goes to so many places but I tried not to panic and decided to get educated."
The Modern Family star continued: "I read every book and found out everything I could. I was fortunate to have caught it early and to have the support of my doctors and most importantly, my family.
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"I learned a lot during that time, not just about thyroid cancer but I also learned that in a time of crisis, we're better together." Now, she takes a Synthroid pill every morning.
Sofia explained what this does to prevent the disease from returning: "It controls your body's metabolism and gives you the levels that you need. An unregulated thyroid can lead to problems with your weight, hair loss, and other things, so they give me a blood test every three months to see where my level is. Actually, I feel very lucky. In a lot of women, the cancer isn't found until around menopause and by then it's too late."
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