Reporter hails viewer for ‘saving her life’ by spotting bump on neck during show

A reporter has praised one of her viewers for expressing concern over a protruding lump in her throat.

Australian journalist Antoinette Lattouf had no idea she had a potentially deadly cyst protruding from her throat until a viewer wrote a "strange message" to her.

Mum-of-two and Network Ten reporter Antoinette was starring on her usual segment on Studio 10 last Friday when a bulge was physically visible.

Later that day, her editor discussed a message the program had received on its official Facebook page.

It read: "Has Antoinette Lattouf had her thyroid checked?

"I am not being smart or trolling just concerned with what I saw on TV today?”

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The viewer — Wendy McCoy from Werribee, Victoria — admitted she wasn’t a doctor but was genuinely concerned with the lump.

After seeing the message, Antoinette admitted she initially "scoffed" at it.

"I was taken aback," she said while writing for 10 daily.

She watched the clip back and to her disbelief, she noticed the lump.

"I was left shocked," she added. "It looked like I had an Adam's apple.

"Something was definitely protruding from my neck."

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Antoinette revealed that she had a family history of thyroid cancer and promptly decided to see her GP.

“Three blood tests, an ultrasound and a CT scan later, it turns out Wendy was the real McCoy and I have a large cyst that needs surgery as well as an auto-immune disease,” she said.

The journalist explained that the cyst, positioned just above her voice box, was benign (not cancerous) but could interfere with her ability to breathe, speak and swallow if it was not treated.

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“This condition most commonly begins when you’re a child, and as the cyst grows and protrudes, it starts to put pressure on other vital structures in the neck,” she added.

“Women are at more at risk, and if untreated or misdiagnosed, thyroid illnesses can impact mental health, weight, hair and nails, fatigue, voice, muscle strength, bone health, heart rate and in some cases result in death.”

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Antoinette said after her diagnosis she spoke to the viewer who told the journalist she was close to not saying anything because she didn’t want to seem to be “interfering or meddling”.

“But then I thought ‘bugger it’ because it stood out like a dog’s hind leg,” Wendy added.

Antoinette said: “To Wendy, I say, thank you for caring enough to reach out to me, a complete stranger, and urging me to see a doctor."

“Your random act of kindness probably saved my career.”

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