WFLA viewer spots reporter Victoria Price’s cancer on air
A US television reporter has paid tribute to a “wonderful” viewer who picked up her thyroid cancer based on one “subtle protrusion”.
Victoria Price, an investigative reporter for TV station WFLA in Tampa Bay, Florida, had been working around the clock this year covering the ongoing coronavirus crisis – but her own health was the “farthest thing” from her mind.
But last month, she received an email from a concerned viewer who had noticed an alarming detail in her on-air appearance.
The unnamed woman spotted a barely-visible lump on Ms Price’s neck, and it reminded her of her own, which turned out to be thyroid cancer.
She urged the journalist to visit a doctor, and Ms Price was eventually diagnosed with the disease.
Taking to Twitter to confirm the news on Friday, Ms Price said it was a “scary” time but that she was “grateful” for the potentially lifesaving email.
“A bit of personal news to share. Turns out, I have cancer. And I owe it to one of our wonderful @WFLA viewers for bringing it to my attention. I’ll be off work for a bit after tomorrow, but I’ll see y’all soon,” she tweeted.
She also shared a written statement with further details of the diagnosis and the bizarre circumstances leading up to it.
“As a journalist, it’s been full throttle since the pandemic began. Never-ending shifts in a never-ending news cycle. Adjusting to remote workflows and in my case, taking on a new investigative role. We were covering the most important health story in a century, but my own health was the farthest thing from my mind,” Ms Price wrote.
“Until a viewer emailed me last month. She saw a lump on my neck. Said it reminded her of her own. Hers was cancer. Turns out, mine is too.
“COVID created some diagnostic delays but I’ll finally be undergoing surgery this Monday to remove the tumour, my thyroid, and a couple of the nearby lymph nodes. Doctor says it’s spreading, but not too much, and we’re hopeful this will be my first and last procedure.”
She explained that if she had never received the email, she would not have visited her doctor and would likely still be unaware of the disease.
“Had I never received that email, I never would have called my doctor. The cancer would have continued to spread. It’s a scary and humbling thought,” she said.
“I will forever be thankful to the woman who went out of her way to email me, a complete stranger. She had zero obligation to, but she did anyway. Talk about being on your side, huh?
“The world is a tough place these days. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Take care of each other.”
Ms Price also shared a photo of herself pointing to her neck as well as a shot of herself on-air to show others how to spot the subtle signs of thyroid cancer.
She said her lump was “not the easiest to see” and was “not super obvious unless you know what to look for”.
“I’m still learning but doc explained that the tumour is in the middle of my thyroid, pushing the glands up and out, hence the subtle protrusion,” she explained.
She later said the last 48 hours had been “overwhelming” but that she was grateful for the “outpouring of love and support” in the wake of her diagnosis.