Thirteen years ago, the now 40-year-old Colombian actress and model Sofia Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Best known for her role on “Modern Famiy,” the then 28-year-old underwent radiation and the removal of the gland.
Vergara told FoxNews.com that her life had changed due to the change in priorities. “You realize that no matter how much beauty, money, success you have – if you don’t have health, you have nothing, because you can’t do anything,” she said.
A small organ located at the front of the neck, the thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and produces hormones to regulate the metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
For Latinas, thyroid cancer is one of the most common found, along with breast and colon and rectum cancers. In the past few years, there has been an increase of thyroid cancer cases, however it is one of the most treatable.
Without a thyroid, Vergara was left with hypothyroidism, where the gland does not produce particular hormones crucial for the body. She now relies on daily medication in order to obtain the hormones needed.
Vergara is now opening up and telling her story to raise awareness about this disease through a website sponsored by Synthroid, the drug she takes in order to obtain crucial hormones her body needs. Her efforts aim to educate people about thyroid disorders and connect to the community.
“You can get on top of it really easily,” Vergara said. “It is not something that is going to take your time to go and get tested, so I don’t think there is a reason why anyone should be living with hypothyroidism.”