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Shark Tank star reveals thyroid cancer battle

The thyroid gland is below the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) in the front part of the neck

Compton Herald | thyroid cancer
During a segment on Good Morning America, which aired Wed., May 10, Daymond John shared his diagnosis with thyroid cancer last year and has since undergone treatment. Photo: ABC

FUBU mogul and ‘Shark Tank’ star Daymond John diagnosed with growth on thyroid

LOS ANGELES — Daymond John, best known for building the clothing empire, FUBU and now years later, starring as one of the sharks on ABC’s reality business pitch show, Shark Tank, is in a battle with stage 2 thyroid cancer, the Compton Herald has learned.

During a segment on Good Morning America, which aired Wed., May 10, he shared his diagnosis with thyroid cancer last year and has since undergone treatment.

“I had an extensive physical and they discovered there was a nodule on my thyroid,” John, 48, told Robin Roberts. “They removed it and it was stage 2 cancer on my thyroid.”

The thyroid gland is below the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) in the front part of the neck. In most people, the thyroid cannot be seen or felt. It is butterfly shaped, with 2 lobes — the right lobe and the left lobe — joined by a narrow isthmus.

Many types of growths and tumors can develop in the thyroid gland. Most of these are benign (non-cancerous) but others are malignant (cancerous), which means they can spread into nearby tissues and to other parts of the body.

The father of three daughters said he was proactive about his health because of his children.

“I want to be there to walk them down the aisle,” he said. “…And this is how it happens, by going out and people getting mammograms, colonoscopies…and all the things to find out what’s going on. Because you can prevent this, and you can stay around in your family’s life.”

There are three main types of thyroid cancer: (1) Differentiated (including papillary, follicular and Hṻrthle cell); (2) Medullary; (3) Anaplastic (an aggressive undifferentiated tumor).

Most cancers are treated with removal of the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy), although small tumors that have not spread outside the thyroid gland may be treated by just removing the side of the thyroid containing the tumor (lobectomy). If lymph nodes are enlarged or show signs of cancer spread, they will be removed as well.

Through it all, John has kept a positive outlook and maintains his scheduled appearances. “I didn’t skip a beat,” he said. “I understood that I [have] a challenge and if I would attack it now, then I wouldn’t have let it attack me and I had that removed. I didn’t miss anything. I was out partying and dancing two days later, not that I should’ve.

“I have to monitor [it] the rest of my life. You know, I have another half of my thyroid still in, and in the event that it comes back, I’ll be able to fight it. [The] thyroid is a very slow-growing cancer.”

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton and the Los Angeles metropolitan area of California, and the world.

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