Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 12


A SOMETIMES-SILENT
CANCER

Like Vergara, many people in the early
stages of thyroid cancer have no symptoms. In fact, Tuttle says, the cancer
is often detected unexpectedly when
testing for other health conditions.
Those with more advanced cases
may experience clearer signs of potential trouble: hoarseness, difficulty
swallowing or the emergence of nodules (solid or fluid-filled lumps that,
although common, are cancerous less
than 10 percent of the time).
In either scenario, a doctor will
feel around your neck for abnormalities before deciding whether to order
diagnostic tests such as blood work or
an ultrasound.
That's how an otherwise healthy
Vergara was first diagnosed. She took
her son to an endocrinologist, concerned about a family history of diabetes. The doctor checked her son and
then examined Vergara, too; he found
a lump in her neck.
"It's not like colon cancer or breast
cancer, where there are certain screenings," says Tuttle, who has treated more
than 2,000 patients with thyroid cancer.
The most common and often slowgrowing forms are known as papillary
and follicular thyroid cancer; combined,
they account for about 90 percent
of cases. Other variations, including

Sofia Vergara married
husband Joe Manganiello,
of Magic Mike fame, in 2015.
medullary and anaplastic, are much
rarer but typically more aggressive and
tougher to treat.
Total or partial surgical removal of
the thyroid is usually quick. Most folks,
Tuttle says, are back to work within a
few days. Some, including Vergara, have
to ingest radioactive iodine via tablets
to fully eradicate the cancer. Others
with more aggressive tumors may
need chemotherapy.

LIFE WITHOUT A THYROID
The complete loss of one's thyroid, meanwhile, leaves a person
hypothyroid-in other words, unable to
make enough thyroid hormone for the

7 THINGS
1 She got her start in a Pepsi commercial at

age 17 and soon after made her mark as a
television host on the Univision network.
2 She has enjoyed a four-year streak of
being the highest-earning TV actress; in
2015, she shared the honor with The Big
Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco. Each made
$28.5 million.

12

W IN TER 2016

body to work properly. That requires a
lifetime of daily medicine to simulate
the absent function.
"We give the body the same hormone that the thyroid was producing,"
says Antonio Bianco, MD, president
of the American Thyroid Association.
"The body, in fact, does not know
the difference."
Finding the proper dosage may
require some tweaks, though. Vergara,
for one, says she "religiously" sees
her doctor and has her thyroid levels
checked every three to six months.
This explains why, when she became
a paid spokeswoman for a thyroid medication in 2013, Vergara stressed the

YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW
ABOUT SOFIA VERGARA

3 She used to watch Spanish-dubbed

5 She loves to read. Vergara plows through

episodes of the sitcom Married... with
Children, which starred her future
Modern Family "husband" Jay Pritchett
(Ed O'Neill).
4 She relies on custom couture to offer
extra support for her voluptuous frame
and says she might one day seek breastreduction surgery.

several books each month, often reading
for hours at a time.
6 She's good friends with another famous
Colombian: pop star Shakira.
7 She became a U.S. citizen in 2014.
Vergara earned a perfect score on
the 100-question test and called the
process "very emotional."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 3
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