Brooke Burke-Charvet shows scar from thyroid cancer surgery, talks kids (Photo)
Brooke Burke-Charvet recently showed the scar left on her throat after undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer on national television and described how her children handled the news of her diagnosis.
Burke-Charvet appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday to talk about her ordeal and how her and husband David Charvet's children handled the news about her diagnosis.
"No make-up," she said, showing her scar. "This is a first for me today, I've been scarfing it up. But you know what, it's fresh, it's a month old and I think scars tell a story and I am so fortunate."
The TV host shares a son and daughter with husband and "Baywatch" alum David Charvet and also has two daughters from a marriage, revealed her thyroid cancer diagnosis publicly in November.
"All the children really handled it differently," she said on "GMA." "My husband and I chose not to share it with the children too soon because I was waiting several months before I scheduled my surgery. My son actually said, 'Is Papa going to get it?' In his mind, at four years old, he doesn't know what 'cancer' means."
"My six year old just thought, 'Mommy, I'm going to go with you, I'm going to hold your hand, I'm going to go to every appointment," Burke-Charvet added. "My oldest daughter -- it was really difficult for her, when it was in the news and her friends had to come and say, 'Oh, we heard about your mom and we're so sorry.' She cried, she wanted to know if I was okay, she made me promise her that nothing was going to happen."
Thyroid cancer is usually treated with surgery, to remove the thyroid, and sometimes radiation, which is often administered with a radioactive iodine pill. The survival rate for those diagnosed with stage I or II thyroid cancer is close to 100 percent. Those with stage IV thyroid cancer have a survival rate between 7 and 51 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.
"Fortunately, I did a lot of research and I knew that the prognosis for thyroid cancer is really excellent," Burke-Charvet said. "I knew that I was going to be okay but I was also very fortunate that I was responsible enough to do a regular physical and then take action."
"I'm one of the lucky ones," she added. "It was shocking and I never thought I'd hear the word 'cancer' in relation to myself. And you know, the movie in my mind, when I got my diagnosis, is that I'm a mother, I've got four children, I've got a family counting on me. It's a little bit scary to really hear that news but I did my research and met with an incredible medical team."
"The message really is about preventative health because I have no symptoms and generally, thyroid cancer has very subtle symptoms," she said, citing "a change in voice."
"I had a very subtle little lump that was questionable, so I went in for my yearly routine physical and my doctor said, 'Hmm, I want you to get an ultrasound and check that out. Nothing serious, just check it out.'"
Survivors of thyroid cancer are typically put on medication to provide hormones typically produced by the gland that regulate heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight.
Prior to her diagnosis, Burke-Charvet had already been taking such pills because she was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease, an autoimmune disease in which a person's anitibodies attack the thyroid.
A 2008 University of Wisconsin study, published in the Journal of Surgical Research, revealed that those suffering from the ailment had an increased risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer -- the most common form, with female patients who have their thyroid removed had a 30 percent chance of contracting the disease.
Check out a video of Brooke Burke-Charvet on "Good Morning America" below.