Entries in Thyroid (2)


Kathy Bates Reveals Why She Kept Ovarian Cancer a Secret

John Shearer/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Veteran actress Kathy Bates battled ovarian cancer almost a decade ago and is now opening up about why she originally kept her diagnosis a secret.

“I was advised to [do so],” Bates, 63, told Anderson Cooper in an episode of his daytime talk show Anderson airing Thursday. "I was contracted to go into a movie at that time, Little Black Book with Brittany Murphy, who I miss very much. My doctors at the time, they had to get insurance approval and all of that so I was very quiet about it and had to go back to work right away.”

Little Black Book
came out in 2004. Bates went public about her cancer battle in 2009, saying on NBC that she had been in remission for more than five years.

On Anderson, Bates said she also had personal reasons for keeping her diagnosis quiet.

“Nobody else really knows what you’re going through except another cancer patient,” she said. “Even though your family’s supportive and surrounds you, I just got to the point where I would go to chemo by myself and just really go through it on my own.”

Having toughed it out in secret, Bates said she would be more open about her fight if the cancer returned.

“I admire people who have been open, like Melissa Etheridge and women I see walking around facing it without wigs and all of that stuff,” she said. “I think I’d be more courageous next time.”

Bates isn’t the only actress to recently open up about hiding a cancer diagnosis. Modern Family star Sofia Vergara told Health magazine why she kept her thyroid cancer a secret when she was diagnosed in 2000.

“I didn’t want publicity because of that,” she said. “Having cancer is not fun. You don’t want to deal with anything else while you’re going through it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Supermodel Blames Thyroid for Early Menopause at 24

Jemal Countess/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thyroid problems three years ago caused Czech supermodel Karolina Kurkova to develop symptoms of premature menopause and pack 30 pounds onto her 5-foot-11 frame, she revealed this week.

Kurkova, now 27, discussed the maladies linked to her malfunctioning thyroid gland during a panel discussion on models' health and eating disorders, sponsored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

"I was 24 and going through menopause -- that was one of my side effects," Kurkova explained Tuesday. "I thought I was going crazy. I was having panic attacks every minute and I didn't know what was happening, because I've been a healthy person. I've exercised all my life. I've always eaten well and taken care of myself."

Despite going through early menopause from a thyroid disorder she didn't identify by name, Kurkova went on to give birth to a son on Oct. 29, 2009.

The weight gain, panic attacks and premature menopause that Kurkova described do not point to a single thyroid diagnosis, according to a thyroid specialist not involved in her care.

"The totality doesn't fit into one, neat little package," said Dr. Robert McConnell, co-director of the New York Thyroid Center at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

For example, he said, Kurkova's 30-pound weight gain isn't what's commonly associated with an under-active thyroid gland. Weight gain caused by hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid gland produces too little of the thyroid hormones, is typically modest, "maybe five to six pounds, and it's typically half-fat, half-water," McConnell said.

"People whose thyroid function is low get puffy and waterlogged. Their hands are puffy, their feet are puffy and their face is puffy," he said. They also may have cold intolerance, achiness and feel sluggish and depressed.

Although weight gain and early menopause in a young woman suggests low thyroid, the panic attacks Kurkova mentioned are more commonly associated with a disorder at the other end of the thyroid dysfunction spectrum, called hyperthyroidism, in which an overactive thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones. That tends to drive weight loss, typically 5 to 10 pounds, McConnell said. Patients with overactive thyroids may feel anxious, sweaty and restless.

The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland lying at the base of the neck is a complex organ, serving as a master control for many processes in the body, including metabolism, bone growth and regulation of body temperature. Diseases of the thyroid are intricately associated with reproductive issues in many stages of a woman's life and are among the most common medical conditions in women, increasing with age.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio