Sofia Vergara kept heartbreaking cancer diagnosis secret for 11 years – here's why

The AGT judge was diagnosed with thyroid cancer

Sofia Vergara was only 28 years old when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000 – and it was 11 years before she decided to share her health condition with the public.

MORE: Sofia Vergara teases return to AGT after absence from judges' cuts

The America's Got Talent judge is thankfully now cancer-free after undergoing radiation, surgery, and a round of medication to combat the disease, though she still takes medication daily to regulate her metabolism.

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WATCH: Sofia Vergara's rise to fame

While she has been open about her cancer battle in recent years, it took her over a decade to share such a huge part of her life with her fans, and there was a very specific, and simple, reason for it.

"I didn't want publicity because of it," she previously told Health. "Having cancer is not fun. You don't want to deal with anything else while you're going through it." 

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Sofia now works to support others in the same position, by sharing her own experiences as much as possible following her initial reveal in 2011.

Sofia Vergara at the Stand Up To Cancer charity telethon in 2021

Last year, she was just one of the many celebrities featured on the Stand Up to Cancer charity telethon, where she shared the heartbreaking moment she was first told of her diagnosis.

"At 28 years old during a routine doctor's visit, my doctor felt a lump in my neck," she said. "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."

Sofia is now cancer free and married to Joe Manganiello 

The Modern Family star continued: "I read every book and found out everything I could about it. I was fortunate to have caught it early and to have the support of my doctors and most importantly, my family.

"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."  

Sofia now takes a Synthroid pill every morning to help prevent the disease from returning. It "controls your body's metabolism and gives you the levels that you need". She also undergoes a blood test every three months.

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