Tarek El Moussa, who previously had thyroid cancer, has revealed for the first time that he also battled testicular cancer. The Flip or Flop star, who announced his split from wife Christina El Moussa in December, opens up about his diagnosis in the new issue of Us Weekly. Find out more in the video above, and detailed below.
"I had thyroid cancer in 2013. One month later they found out I had testicular cancer. It was very difficult on me. My hormones were way off. It affected me. It's been three years of hell," El Moussa, 35, exclusively tells Us. "I was devastated when I found out. So was Christina."
The father of daughter Taylor, 6, and son Brayden, 18 months, endured radiation treatments after emergency surgery for the testicular cancer. "It took a big toll on me," he added to Us. "It kicked my butt."
Now in remission, Tarek is speaking out about his second diagnosis to send a message. "One of the motivating factors for me doing it now is that my stepfather was just diagnosed," he explains. "No matter your age, go to the doctor if you think something is wrong."
Tarek initially found out that he had thyroid cancer when a viewer spotted a lump on his throat while watching the HGTV series. Weeks before announcing his split from Christina, he had another cancer screening that came out negative.
As previously reported, Tarek and Christina, 33, revealed late last year that they were ending their seven-year marriage. The pair announced their split a few months after police were called to their home. The Orange County Sheriff's Department told Us Weekly that they responded to a call about a "possibly suicidal male with a gun" on May 23. Tarek admitted to Us that he grabbed a gun before hiking at the Chino Hills State Park, but says that it was only for protection and he was not suicidal.
"That thing was totally blown out of proportion," he tells Us. "I was going hiking towards the end of the day. We have bobcats, mountain lions and wildlife and I was by myself. I took my gun legally and I didn’t even think about it. I threw it in my backpack and went hiking… I thought it was absolutely absurd."
Despite their messy split, Tarek and Christina continue to work together on Flip or Flop. "It’s like anything. You have good days and bad days," he tells Us. "It was a stressful time, but we had to do our job. Our job is to film a show and flip houses. But our most important job is to coparent."
Christina shared the same sentiment during an interview with Good Morning America on Tuesday. "Honestly, despite everything, I'm doing really, really, really good. Tarek and I met 10 years ago at work and went through a market crash, we went through [Tarek's] cancer, infertility. Now we're going through a very public divorce but, despite everything, our primary focus is and always will be our kids. We continue to work together and there's a lot of false stories and a lot of hype, but in the end we're just normal, nice people who just want to be the best parents and coworkers that we can be," she said. "Tarek and I are friends and we have a lot of support from our family."
For much more from our exclusive interview with Tarek, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands tomorrow.
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