Network Ten journalist Antoinette Lattouf has had a giant cyst removed from her neck, after a viewer spotted the lump.
After appearing on Studio 10 last Friday, a viewer messaged the network to say: “Has Antoinette Lattouf had her thyroid checked? I am not being smart or trolling just concerned with what I saw on TV today?”
The viewer, Wendy McCoy from Victoria, said that although she was not a doctor, the lump reminded her of a friend’s cyst.
In an article penned for 10Daily, Lattouf said McCoy’s attentive eye “probably saved my career”.
“I was left shocked. It looked like I had an Adam’s Apple. Something was definitely protruding from my neck,” she said.
“Given I have a family history of thyroid cancer and other relos with a range of thyroid-related illnesses, I went and saw my G.P.
“Three blood tests, an ultrasound and a CT scan later, it turns out Wendy was the real McCoy and I have a large cyst that needs surgery as well as an autoimmune disease.”
Fortunately, the cyst is benign, but because it is located on her thyroglossal duct (above the voice box), it has probably started to interfere with her ability to breathe, speak and swallow.
Although McCoy told Lattouf she almost didn’t say anything about the lump because she didn’t “want to seem to be interfering or meddling”, Lattouf encouraged others to do the same.
“There’s no etiquette guide as to how to broach a medical concern with a loved one let alone a stranger. However, I think we would all benefit if we were more like Wendy and took on her “bugger it” approach (and then politely share your concern),” she said.
“It’s that good ole, ‘if you see something, say something’ message. It’s not about playing a pseduo-surgeon, or becoming the human face of Dr Google — all you need to do is encourage the person to seek medical advice.
“Worst case they’ll call you a rando, best case you’ll save someone’s life.”