Brooke Burke-Charvet Opens Up About Thyroid Cancer Scare: "It's Something You Never Think You're Going to Experience"

Celebrity News Jan. 17, 2013 AT 4:20PM
Brooke Burke Brooke Burke Credit: Michael Simon/Startraksphoto.com

Brooke Burke-Charvet isn't afraid to bare it all. The veteran TV host and mother of four sat down with talk show host Katie Couric to open up about her recent thyroid surgery on a Wednesday, Jan. 16 episode of Katie.

The Dancing With the Stars host unabashedly showed off an inch-long scar at the base of her throat as she recounted the moment her doctor told her she had thyroid cancer.

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"My doctor felt a very questionable, tiny little lump," she explained. "He said to get an ultrasound, and I got an ultrasound, and then they suggested a biopsy. I had my first biopsy and my results came back atypical … they couldn't confirm whether it was cancer or not."

"Some people at that point would do nothing and go back in six months and check it but I wanted more information, so I went and I had seven biopsies done with some new genetic testing and three days later I got the call from the doctor, who said, 'Yeah, you have 75 percent positive for cancer and you need to have a thyroidectomy,'" the 41-year-old continued.

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"It's something that you never think that you're going to experience and I sort of went, 'Oh, okay. I'm gonna call you next week,'" she said. "And the doctor said, 'No, no, no Brooke. You need to have a thyroidectomy done and you need to schedule this.'"

Burke-Charvet, married to Baywatch alum David Charvet since August 2011, said her husband has been her "rock" throughout the entire procedure, listening to her whenever she wanted to talk, but respecting her boundaries about the sensitive subject.

Telling her four young daughters, aged 4 to 12, was difficult, however.

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"My youngest didn't really get it," she said of delivering the news. "My six-year-old was so strong and we're so close, she said, 'Mommy, I'm going to be there for you, I'm going to hold your hand.'"

"My oldest daughter took it the hardest, because she had to see it on the news, [and] all of her friends were reading about it and everybody was going, 'Oh my gosh, your mom, we're so sorry,'" Burke-Charvet recalled. "She cried a lot and just wanted to know that I was going to be okay."

"Thank God! So far, so good," she tweeted to her fans. "I'm recovering, I'm strong, I'm grateful for my brilliant doctors."

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In the weeks following, Burke-Charvet stayed home with her family and took a much-needed break from work. 

"Minus the scar, I'm pretty darn lucky and happy," she told Couric. "I took a whole month off, which is big for me because I've never done that. ... I relaxed and caught up on some great movies and had some downtime with my family and read a little bit and really just slowed down and let my body heal."

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