Woman Diagnosed with Cancer after Doctor Sees Her on TV

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. lump / lʌmp / (n) – a mass or swelling

    I found a lump on my leg where the insect bit me.

  2. benign / bɪˈnaɪn / (adj) – not cancerous

    I was glad to know that the tumor on my throat was benign.

  3. seasoned / ˈsi·zənd / (adj) – highly experienced

    I trust his advice because he is a seasoned doctor.

  4. intervene / ˌɪn·tərˈvin / (v) – to intentionally involve oneself in a particular situation

    I decided to intervene when I saw some students bullying their classmate.

  5. keep an eye out / kip ən aɪ aʊt / (idiom) – to carefully look out for something

    Keep an eye out for the criminal. We need to catch him!


Read the text below.

A woman was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after a doctor noticed a lump on her throat while watching TV.

New York-based doctor and surgeon Erich Voigt [voyt] was watching the TV program Beachfront Bargain Hunt when he saw the lump on the show’s 32-year-old guest, Nicole McGuinness [muh k-GIN-is]. Not willing to let his observation pass, he created a social media post to talk about McGuinness’ thyroid mass—an indication of thyroid cancer. He stated that she needed to undergo some tests and that he hoped that the tumor was benign.

According to Voigt, only seasoned doctors like himself would know that the lump should not be taken lightly.

Voigt’s message eventually reached McGuinness, who consulted a doctor. Her doctor’s diagnosis confirmed Voigt’s suspicion of a thyroid cancer.

After being diagnosed, McGuinness met Dr. Voigt on a morning talk show. Dr. Voigt explained that he felt the need to intervene after noticing McGuinness’ lump. He also gave tips on detecting thyroid tumors.

McGuinness then thanked the doctor for his gesture. She mentioned that if he had not been keeping an eye out, it might have taken a while to get herself checked.

McGuinness is not the first person to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer after being seen on a TV program.

In 2013, a nurse watching the show Flip or Flop noticed a lump on the neck of the host, Tarek El Moussa [tuhREK el mooz-uh]. The nurse wrote an e-mail to the show’s production company and alerted El Moussa to have the lump assessed. Upon confirmation that the lump was a sign of cancer, the host underwent surgery and treatment.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree that Voigt should feel accountable for McGuinness after seeing her lump? Explain.
• In your opinion, is it acceptable for Voigt to post about his observation on social media? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• In what situations is it acceptable to intervene in a stranger’s life? Discuss.
• How would you feel if a stranger intervened in your life?