Deborah Norville is "so grateful" after thyroid cancer surgery

Deborah Norville "so grateful" after surgery

"Inside Edition" anchor Deborah Norville says she is "so grateful" after her thyroid cancer surgery two weeks ago. On Monday, Norville was back on the air. She said she and her doctor had been monitoring a lump in her neck for about 20 years, ever since a viewer first noticed it on TV and contacted Norville's publicist about it.

"I'm grateful to that viewer. I'm grateful to the viewers who've reached out, who've expressed their love and kindness and compassion and concern," Norville said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

Her surgeon removed most of her thyroid after nodules in her neck tested positive for cancer.

Norville admitted she was "very fearful" before her procedure because her doctor was forthcoming about the risks.

"We talk for a living. I was concerned that there would be damage. And the doctor was very straight forward. He said, 'The nerves that power your vocal cords rest right on top of your thyroid, and we have to manipulate them to get to the thyroid to remove it,'" she said.

Fortunately, after the surgery, she said she "sounded more or less like me."

"I was like, 'Thank you, Lord,'" Norville said.

For those who are curious about whether they should be regularly screened for thyroid cancer, Norville said no, adding her doctor's advice: "He said this is not like you need to have your mammogram. This is not like you need to have your regular colonoscopy."

"If you feel something, if you have difficulty swallowing, if you have difficulty speaking, you need to reach out to your physician and then they will refer you if necessary," Norville said.

While she was asymptomatic, Norville urged viewers to "be proactive about your health."

"The truth is, I knew I was supposed to regularly get these lumps checked and scanned. I was six months late. I've been really good for almost 20 years, but I let it slip," she said. "And so if you have something that needs to be regularly checked, pull out [your cellphone], put it in your calendar so that every year it reminds you that you need to do this. Because you are your own best advocate. You cannot depend on the rest of the world. You may not have a viewer that calls you like me."

The American Cancer Society estimates about 52,070 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in 2019. It is about three times more common in women than in men.