Doctor sees woman on TV show, diagnoses her with cancer

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MOREHEAD CITY, NC (WNCT/CNN) - "Thankful" is not a word that usually comes to mind when talking about someone's cancer diagnosis.

Yet that's how Nicole McGuinness feels after a doctor several states away from where she lives caught a tumor on her neck. He noticed it while watching her appear on the HGTV show "Beachfront Bargain Hunt."

"(I'm) absolutely amazed and thankful and just felt blessed because who knows how long I've had that? McGuinness said. "And who knows how long I would have gone on undiagnosed had he not brought that to our attention."

She appeared on the show as she was remodeling her home. Dr. Erich Voigt, an ear, nose and throat surgeon in New York, happened to be watching and noticed a lump on her thyroid.

It was the second cancer diagnosis in two years for McGuinness, who found out she had a brain tumor last year.

"It's tragic," she said. "And everybody deals with that in a different way, but I made the decision with my glioblastoma that I needed to be positive."

Ashlea Staunch-Humphries from Carteret Health Care said that something like this isn't as uncommon as people may think.

"Some are older, some are younger, some have had just one cancer," Staunch-Humphries said. "Some people have had a reoccurrence, or they may even have had a second tumor."

Survivors and those who have never had cancer should constantly be monitoring their health.

"Anything in your body that is different from what your normal is, is something that you should talk to your healthcare professionals about," Staunch-Humphries said.

McGuinness hopes her story will make a difference.

"Hopefully this can offer hope and inspiration to folks who are going through the same thing," she said.

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