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Deborah Norville undergoes surgery for cancerous thyroid nodule

The "Inside Edition" host had been monitoring a lump on her neck ever since a viewer spotted it some time ago.
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/ Source: TODAY

Deborah Norville has undergone surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid nodule from her neck — and she's given thanks to the eagle-eyed viewer who first spotted it.

The "Inside Edition" host and former TODAY anchor revealed Monday that she and her doctor had been monitoring the lump ever since a viewer brought it to her attention some time ago.

"We live in a world of 'see something, say something,' and I'm really glad we do," Norville, 60, said in a video message to viewers.

"When you work on television, viewers comment on everything — your hair, your makeup, the dress you're wearing," she continued. "And, a long time ago, an 'Inside Edition' viewer reached out to say she'd seen something on my neck. It was a lump."

Norville said she'd never noticed the lump, but had it checked out to be sure everything was OK. Her doctor told her it was a thyroid nodule and posed no harm.

"For years, it was nothing. Until recently it was something," she shared.

"The doctor says it's a very localized form of cancer, which tomorrow I'll have surgery to have removed. There will be no chemo, I'm told no radiation, but I will have surgery and I'll be away for a bit," she explained.

Norville concluded her message by asking for viewers' support: "If you believe in prayer, please say one for me — and for my surgeon — and I thank you very much."

On Tuesday, she updated viewers with the news that her surgery went well.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 52,070 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer every year, with women nearly three times more likely to develop the disease as men.

It's the most rapidly increasing cancer in the United States, where diagnoses have tripled in the past three decades, the American Cancer Society notes. Some attribute the increase to thyroid ultrasounds, which can detect small thyroid nodules that might have been overlooked in the past.

Though cases are on the rise, the death rate from thyroid cancer remains very low compared with most other cancers.

The disease is often treated successfully with surgery, with patients able to leave the hospital within a day of operation.

Norville isn't the only TV personality who's received a life-saving message from a sharp-eyed viewer.

In 2013, "Flip or Flop" host Tarek El Moussa received a crucial tip from a viewer who spotted a suspicious lump on his throat.

The viewer, a registered nurse, contacted the show's producers to suggest El Moussa have the lump checked out. Thankfully, he listened.

Biopsy results revealed the lump was a symptom of stage 2 thyroid cancer.

Within a month of the biopsy, El Moussa, who also battled testicular cancer around the same time, had his thyroid and lymph nodes removed and began iodine radiation treatment.

The HGTV star is now cancer-free.