Diagnosed by viewer: Tarek El Moussa

Published: November 24, 2015

Diagnosed by viewer: Tarek El Moussa, A popular HGTV presenter was diagnosed with cancer after an eagle-eyed viewer spotted a lump on his neck while watching his show two years ago.

Tarek El Moussa, 34, co-host of the series Flip or Flop can thank Ryan Read for helping detect his thyroid cancer after the registered nurse noticed a large nodule on his thyroid while watching a Season One marathon.

Read, a fan of the show and a registered nurse, immediately contacted producers explaining this and said Moussa needed to have it checked out, which led to his diagnosis in 2013 at age 31, Fox 6 Now reported.

Moussa’s thyroid cancer is now in remission, but he was blindsided by the diagnosis after Read had emailed the show’s production company, according to People.

‘You get that gut feeling, you know,’ Read, of Aubrey, Texas said during an episode of The Doctors in 2013 when she met Moussa for the first time.

‘Half-way through an episode during the marathon I saw it and stopped the TV, rewound it and watched it again.

‘I watched a few more episodes and I’m like ‘there’s definitely something there, I need to get the message to him’.’

Read’s email prompted Moussa to have a biopsy of the lump which he previously was told was benign.

Moussa’s wife, 32-year-old Christina, who co-hosts the show with him, told People in 2013 that Read’s email said: ‘This is not a joke. I’m a registered nurse. I’ve been watching Flip or Flop.

‘I noticed that the host Tarek has a large nodule on his thyroid, and he needs to have it checked out.’

Moussa at the time said that he had already noticed that he was having a harder time swallowing and that the lump was getting bigger.

In June 2013, that lump Read had spotted turned out to be cancer and after surgery to have his thyroid removed revealed the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, he underwent thyroid radioactive iodine therapy.

He told ET Online that being diagnosed with cancer hit him and his family hard, adding that ‘it was just a really scary thing.’

However, thanks to Read, the cancer was able to be detected before it had spread any further, according to Fox 6 Now.

‘If it wasn’t for TV and her noticing this huge lump on my neck, I would still be moving forward with my life, with cancer in my body and probably never done anything about it,’ Tarek told The Doctors.

After meeting Read for the first time, Moussa told ETOnline that he and his wife ended up spending the day with her and that it was an incredible experience getting to meet her.

‘It was just such an amazing experience to meet this person because she stepped up and did what others probably wouldn’t have done,’ he said.

‘I probably would’ve never known that I had cancer,’ Moussa continued.

‘And by the time that I would’ve found out, it probably would’ve been in a much further stage.’

Moussa described the last three years as a ‘pretty big challenge’ but told People that he feels good.

‘I feel good, but I don’t have the energy I used to have,’ he said. ‘The only thing is most days or like half the time I feel a little jetlagged. I’m really tired.’

Moussa and his wife welcomed their second child, son Brayden James, in August. The couple also have a daughter, Taylor.

The couple had struggled for more than two years to get pregnant with Brayden James with two unsuccessful attempts with IVF, including a miscarriage prior to Moussa’s diagnosis, People reported.

Now that the host’s cancer is in remission, Moussa remains optimistic about his future.

‘I feel fantastic. I’m in shape, I’m taking all my medicines, and I’m currently in remission,’ he told ET Online.

‘Every day that goes by, the odds of the cancer [recurring] decreases, so we’re really excited for that.’


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