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Journalist discovers she has a huge cyst that needs urgent surgery after a viewer spotted a lump on her neck during a TV appearance and emailed the station

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 7/11/2019 Charlie Moore

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A television journalist discovered she had a potentially deadly cyst on her throat after a viewer spotted a lump protruding from her neck.

Network Ten reporter Antoinette Lattouf, a married mother of two, was shown a message from the viewer to her editor last Friday.

It read: 'Has Antoinette Lattouf had her thyroid checked? I am not being smart or trolling just concerned with what I saw on TV today?' 

The viewer, Wendy McCoy from Werribee, Victoria, said she was not a doctor but that Lattouf's lump reminded her a friend who had a cyst.

'I felt concerned and thought I should say something,' Ms McCoy wrote.

When she saw the message, Lattouf watched back her television section in which she discussed artist Kyle Montgomery's controversial sculptures of the Virgin Mary.

Sure enough, she noticed a large lump protruding from the left side of her neck.  

Writing for 10daily, she explained: 'I was left shocked. It looked like I had an Adam's Apple. Something was definitely protruding from my neck.'

Lattouf said she had a family history of thyroid cancer so went to see her GP.

What is a thyroglossal duct cyst? 

a screen shot of a woman: Antoinette Lattouf (pictured) noticed a large lump protruding from the left side of her neck after she watched herself on TV © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Antoinette Lattouf (pictured) noticed a large lump protruding from the left side of her neck after she watched herself on TV A thyroglossal duct cyst happens when your thyroid, a large gland in your neck that produces hormones, leaves behind extra cells while it’s forming during your development in the womb. These extra cells can become cysts.

This kind of cyst is congenital, meaning that they’re present in your neck from the time you’re born.

In some cases, the cysts are so small that they don’t cause any symptoms. Large cysts, on the other hand, can prevent you from breathing or swallowing properly and may need to be removed.

After three blood tests, an ultrasound and a CT scan, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease a large cyst that needed surgery.

Lattouf explained that her cyst, just above her voice box, was not cancerous but even benign growths can cause serious harm if left untreated.

a blackboard sign next to a woman: Lattouf (pictured) explained that her cyst, just above her voice box, was not cancerous but even benign growths can cause serious harm if left untreated © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Lattouf (pictured) explained that her cyst, just above her voice box, was not cancerous but even benign growths can cause serious harm if left untreated More common in women, they can affect muscle strength, bone health, heart rate and can be deadly in extreme cases.

She said it probably has been growing since she was a child and could affect her ability to speak, swallow and breath if she did not have it removed. 

In a moving Instagram post, Lattouf thanked Ms McCoy for speaking up. 

'She wrote: Thank you for caring lovely Wendy!'

Lattouf said she also contacted Ms McCoy directly, who told her that she almost said nothing because she didn't want to 'seem to be interfering or meddling'.

'But then I thought bugger it, because it stood out like a dog's hind leg,' Ms McCoy said.

Lattouf signed off her article with a plea for people to get checked if they notice a lump on their neck.

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