Sofía Vergara has spoken candidly about her journey as a cancer survivor, opening up about how she was forced to battle the disease head on at the age of 28.
In honour of World Cancer Day 2022, the Modern Family actress took to Instagram to share her struggles with her 24.5 million followers.
She posted an old photo of herself, taken not long after she underwent surgery to remove thyroid cancer. Under the image, Vergara’s caption reflected on how battling cancer became “part of my story” and how it’s left her feeling lucky to be alive.
“At 28, ‘cancer’ was not a word I expected to hear,” Vergara wrote, referring to when she found out about her diagnosis of thyroid cancer.
“It was just a routine checkup. But the doctors found a lump in my throat, and that word became part of my story.”
“I spent countless hours in radiation treatments, and, eventually, in surgery,” she wrote, adding, “Today, I get to call myself a cancer survivor.”
In the image, Vergara draws attention to the visible scar on her throat, which reminded her of how blessed she felt that day.
“This was my first acting class after diagnosis and treatment,” she said. “And seeing the scar on my throat reminds me of how blessed I felt that day—and every day since.”
Overall, Vergara explained that she now feels “lucky and grateful to be in a position to share my story and say: early prevention is so important!!
The 49-year-old actress then urged her followers to maintain a regular medical schedule to keep an eye out for any concerning signs.
“Schedule your annual check up for this year if you haven’t already,” she concluded.
The thyroid is a small, hormone-producing gland located on the lower front part of the neck. When it comes to diagnosis, there are several different types of thyroid cancer, with the most common being papillary thyroid cancer which typically grows in one lobe of the thyroid gland in about 70 to 80 per cent of cases, according to Cancer Council.
Following that, follicular thyroid cancer accounts for about 20 per cent of thyroid cancers, and less common is medullary thyroid cancer, anaplastic thyroid cancer and thyroid sarcoma or lymphoma. The Cancer Council website explains that the five year survival rate for thyroid cancer is 97 per cent.
If you or a loved one has battled thyroid cancer or if you simply want to help out, you can donate to The Australian Thyroid Foundation here.