November 24, 2015 4:46 pm
Updated: November 25, 2015 12:31 pm

HGTV host saved after eagle-eyed viewer spots lump on his neck

Tarek El Moussa before he had his cancerous lump removed.

The Doctors

We’ve heard about TV personalities being thankful for their fans, but Flip or Flop host, Tarek El Moussa, will have to go beyond mere thanks.

The host of the HGTV property-flipping show was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after a Flip or Flop viewer spotted a lump on his neck. No, seriously.

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The fan, a registered nurse named Ryan Read, noticed a large nodule on El Moussa’s thyroid while watching a Season 1 marathon of the show. She immediately contacted producers explaining what she thought she saw, and said El Moussa needed to have it checked out, which led to his diagnosis in 2013 at age 31.

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Read’s email prompted El Moussa to have a biopsy done, even though he was already told by some professionals that it was benign. It turned out the lump was actually cancerous, and he had to have his thyroid removed. During surgery, doctors saw that the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, so he was forced to undergo thyroid radioactive iodine therapy. Luckily, the surgeries and treatment worked.

Tarek El Moussa displays his scar after his thyroid surgery.

The Doctors

Now 33, his thyroid cancer is in remission, but if it weren’t for Read’s quick thinking and email to the producers, it may not have turned out that way.

READ MORE: Stuart McLean diagnosed with cancer, annual Christmas tour cancelled

“If it wasn’t for TV and her noticing this huge lump on my neck, I would still be moving forward with my life, with cancer in my body and [I’d] probably never do anything about it,” El Moussa told People magazine. “I feel fantastic. I’m in shape, I’m taking all my medicines, and I’m currently in remission. Every day that goes by, the odds of the cancer [recurring] decreases, so we’re really excited for that.”

El Moussa and his wife/co-host Christina El Moussa met Read for the first time on The Doctors, and it was a joyous moment for all of them. What have you done for your favourite TV star lately?

The new season of ‘Flip or Flop’ premieres on Dec. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada. HGTV Canada is owned by Shaw Communications Inc., parent company of Global News.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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