Recently, the renowned Colombian actress, Sofia Vergara, shared an emotional message in which she made public a condition she suffered at the beginning of her career, when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. According to data, this disease is more common in women and is usually diagnosed at an early age. However, about 98% of patients usually recover, so it’s ideal to focus on prevention.
Bright Side wants to tell you, in detail, how the actress coped with this difficult part of her life, the reasons why she kept her illness a secret, and what motivated her to reveal her story later on.
Sofia Vergara is one of the best known Latina actresses and models in Hollywood. She is currently 49 years old and is considered one of the most powerful women in the world. According to Forbes, in 2020, she was worth over $43 million. However, she recently disclosed having suffered from thyroid cancer at the age of 28.
In the latest version of Stand Up to Cancer, an initiative created by women that has continued to raise funds to finance research and fight against cancer since 2008, Vergara participated as a co-host and gave her testimony as a survivor of the disease.
“At the age of 28, during a routine medical visit, my doctor felt a lump in my neck,” said the actress known for her role in the series, Modern Family. In addition, she narrated how traumatic it can be to receive news like that: “When they tell you the word cancer, it scares anyone.”
“I read all the books and found out everything I could about it. I was lucky to have caught it early and to have the support of my doctors and, most importantly, my family,” she said during the television broadcast.
In her recent publication, she recounts, “At 28, ’cancer’ was not a word I expected to hear. It was just a routine checkup. But the doctors found a lump in my throat, and that word became part of my story.” She continued, “I spent countless hours in radiation treatments and, eventually, surgery. Today, I can call myself a cancer survivor.”
“This was my first acting class after diagnosis and treatment, and seeing the scar on my throat reminds me how blessed I felt that day and every day since. I am lucky and grateful to be able to share my story and say that early prevention is so important! Schedule your annual checkup for this year if you haven’t already,” shared the actress.
In addition to the TV event, she was the image of the Sigue el Guion campaign (Follow the Script) to educate people about this disease. “It is important to ask, to educate yourself, to go to the doctor if you feel some of the symptoms; especially, women who have so many changes in our lives, like menopause and pregnancy, because our thyroid changes,” she explained.
“I had a lot of tests, and finally they told me I had thyroid cancer. When you are young, and you hear the word ’cancer,’ your mind goes to so many places, but I tried not to panic and decided to educate myself,” said Vergara.
Vergara chose not to go public with her diagnosis at the time. In 2011, she talked about keeping her illness a secret until after the cancer disappeared thanks to surgery and radiation treatments. “I didn’t want publicity for it,” she said, “Having cancer is no fun. You don’t want to deal with anything else while you’re going through it.”
In addition, she explained that she underwent surgery, a procedure in which her thyroid gland was removed. It involved risks, such as losing her speech or facial mobility. And after that, she underwent radiation. For this reason, she must take a type of medication for the rest of her life that replaces the hormone load produced by the thyroid gland.
The actress, who has also participated as a judge on the famous show, America’s Got Talent, reflected on what she learned from her experience: “In times of crisis, we are better together.” She also noted, “Your priorities change. You don’t sweat the small stuff.”
About the scar that was left after her recovery, which is almost imperceptible, she explained, “Nowadays, you can do a lot of things with scars. They have used lasers and cortisone injections. It is not as noticeable as it used to be.”
But her learning also became a reason to take stronger action about the outlook for the disease, as she sponsors an organization that is currently building a medical center in her hometown of Barranquilla.
“I visited the cancer ward of a hospital in Colombia, and parents were sitting on the floor while their children were being treated. When you are a mother and your child is sick, you feel it yourself. I want to establish a comfortable place for parents,” she said of the project.
Happily married to actor Joe Manganiello since 2015, she always looks very much in love. On her last wedding anniversary, her husband posted a video in which he mentions, “Today, it’s been 6 years since I married the woman of my dreams.”
Undoubtedly, the actress continues to live every moment of her life intensely and has shown to be one of the most supportive celebrities with different initiatives and social causes she stands for, in addition to the fight against cancer.
Sofia Vergara is a woman who is not just beautiful in appearance — she is authentic, funny, talented, a fighter, and a compassionate human being. Her resilience gives everyone a lot to think about regarding health as a form of prevention, but also about how meaningful life becomes when you get a second chance.
What type of preventative health practices do you participate in?