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Cancer patient releases lump picture to raise awareness

20 March 2017 09:25

Nine in 10 people are alive five years after a thyroid cancer diagnosis

Nine in 10 people are alive five years after a thyroid cancer diagnosis

A young actor has released pictures of a lump on her throat that turned out to be thyroid cancer, with hopes the image will raise awareness and alert others who may be suffering from the disease.

Lorna Nickson Brown, 26, was diagnosed with the deadly disease in early 2015 after her mum noticed a lump had appeared on the front left side of her neck.

Speaking to news site indy100 , she said: "She thought I lost a bit of weight, but three months later I visited the GP who confirmed that it was a thyroid nodule."

The large lump on Ms Nickson Brown's neck felt hard to the touch and was larger than normal, so the GP agreed to refer her.

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer, a rare form of the disease, affects the thyroid gland - a hormone-producing gland in the neck.

The outlook for anyone recovering from thyroid cancer is good. According to the NHS, around nine in 10 people are alive after five years following diagnosis.

However, the outlook can be determined by how early a diagnosis is made.

Anyone with a thyroid condition can take out medical travel insurance to provide essential cover when taking overseas trips.

Hiding in plain sight

After four months of scans Ms Nickson Brown had a biopsy and the sample was found to be cancerous.

"I felt numb," she told the newspaper. "I didn't believe it because I felt so well. At the time I was optioned for a Golden Globe-nominated TV series."

The actress has played roles in Holby City, Doctors and Agatha Christie's Poirot.

In a before-and-after picture posted to Facebook, she said: "You can clearly see the lump on my neck here in this picture, yet we missed it at the time."

Oncologist John Watkinson at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham recommended a partial thyroidectomy for the budding actress.

Having the thyroid only partially removed - the cancerous nodule - means Ms Nickson Brown does not have to take thyroid medication for the rest of her life.

She has now been clear of cancer for over a year.