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Sangita Patel says her thyroid tumour is cancerous: 'My emotions have been a rollercoaster'

The tumour she once thought was benign has been diagnosed as cancerous.

Sangita Patel has opened about a new diagnosis related to her thyroid tumor.  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Sangita Patel has opened about a new diagnosis related to her thyroid tumor. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Sangita Patel is giving fans a candid update on her health.

On Sunday, the former "ET Canada" host, 44, shared an Instagram reel of herself opening up about the unnerving pathology report results. She received it after undergoing surgery to remove a suspicious lump on her thyroid in October.

In the emotional clip, the Toronto-based TV personality sat on a oceanfront terrace while vacationing in Turks and Caicos, explaining that prior to her trip, she got the news her once "benign" lump was in fact cancerous.

"This trip came at the right time or me because right before I left I got my pathology report, and I went from benign to suspicious to encapsulated invasive oncocytic carcinoma. Cancer," she said.

Here's what you need to know about the disease, and how Patel is handling the diagnosis.

What is oncocytic carcinoma?

According to Medscape, oncocytic carcinoma — also known as "Hurthle cell carcinoma" — is considered very "rare type of differentiated thyroid cancer," as it accounts for less "than 5 percent of all thyroid cancers."

Rarely hereditary, the direct cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. However, diet and exposure to radiation can pose an increased risk of it developing.

Surgery to remove the tumour is the main treatment option for thyroid cancer. (Getty)
Surgery to remove the tumour is the main treatment option for thyroid cancer. (Getty)

There are four types of thyroid cancer:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer: the most common of the four kinds of thyroid carcinomas, as it accounts for 80 to 85 percent of all cases, the Cancer Centre explained.

  • Follicular thyroid cancer: second most common and primarily targets countries that have a notably lower dietary iodine intake.

  • Medullary thyroid cancer: "more aggressive and less differentiated" than papillary or follicular carcinoma and is considered rare, making up just four to 10 per cent of thyroid cancer cases.

  • Hurthle cell carcinoma: reportedly "behaves in a more aggressive fashion" and has "a lower survival rate."

Symptoms & treatment

Typical symptoms pointing to hurthle cell carcinoma include a growth forming in the neck or throat area, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and it has also been known to trigger changes to the voice.

Surgery to remove the tumour is the "mainstay" of treatment options, however, if the cancer is more larger and more aggressive, it may require a "total thyroidectomy."

The steps that follow after removing the tumour — or the thyroid entirely — are far less invasive. Radioactive iodine therapy helps eliminate "any remaining thyroid tissue, which can contain traces of cancer," and potentially spread to other parts of the body.


Sangita Patel says she's feeling 'blessed' and 'mentally strong'

Despite the unexpected health concern, Patel is remaining optimistic about her next steps.

"I did a lot of research on the common thyroid cancers. I didn't really know much about this one. But the tumour is out, I am feeling fantastic, I am recovering, and I know I have this incredible team that's going to take me into the second chapter of this journey. I am blessed with incredible friends, family, kids, my husband," the mom-of-two shared in the video.

"I am physically strong," Patel continued. "I am mentally strong and I know this positive energy runs through this temple. Just kind of sucks. I didn't think I'd be here. I know I'm gonna be fine, I know that. But live life to the fullest, right?"

In her accompanying caption, Patel reiterated herself, adding, "The last few weeks have tested me physically and mentally and my emotions have been a rollercoaster. This moment, sitting down, surrounded by blue skies, was really the first time speaking the 'C-word' as my story."

The tumour is out, I am feeling fantastic, I am recovering.Sangita Patel (via Instagram)

In the comments, fans shared well-wishes and supportive messages for Patel.

"You will survive this! You got this!" an Instagram user wrote. "Keep inspiring and sharing your story! We are with you!"

Another fan added: "Sangita, I will be sending you all the good vibes and strength my friend. There’s nothing more powerful than positivity."

"Take a deep breath! You are a superwoman!" one person penned. "Just know that superwoman is allowed to have vulnerable moments. That makes us human! Just know that you're loved and you'll be OK. Positive energy is the most important part of healing! In the meantime, live every day to the fullest!"

In October, Patel shared a candid video of herself in her car, "freaking out" after discovering the lump in her neck that was previously declared "benign" back in July was, unfortunately, "still growing."

"I went to go get a biopsy it was benign, thought everything was fine, and then I noticed it was still growing," Patel said. "So I went to go see a specialist and heard exactly what I didn't want to hear: the lump is suspicious."

"I'm freaking out a little bit. OK — I'm freaking out a lot, as a mother," the TV personality admitted.

Days later, the mom-of-two took to Instagram with a selfie taken from a hospital bed paired with a caption updating her fans after surgery.

"I feel like a marshmallow! I would say this is the best selfie I've taken even though it looks like I took a good southpaw hook," she wrote.

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