An actress has shared a photograph revealing the physical symptom of thyroid cancer that she missed for an entire year before being diagnosed.
Lorna Nickson Brown, who is now just 26, hopes that the photo, which reveals a lump in the front of her neck, will help raise awareness of the disease and its symptoms among the general public.
“It is not widely known about. I didn’t even know what a thyroid was when I was told I had thyroid cancer,” she wrote.
In the photo below, taken in 2015, you can clearly see the lump in her neck which, if left untreated, could’ve proven deadly.
Discussing the photo revealing the hidden symptom of thyroid cancer, Brown wrote: “[It] was taken by my bro almost a year before we knew that I had thyroid cancer. You can clearly see the lump on my neck, here in this picture. Yet we missed it at the time.”
According to the NHS, the main symptom of thyroid cancer is a lump in the front of the neck. However the cancer tends to develop slowly and there may not be any symptoms at first.
Other symptoms of the disease include: swollen glands, unexplained hoarseness, a sore throat that doesn’t get better, pain in your neck, difficultly swallowing and breathing difficulties.
It’s most common in people in their 30s and those over the age of 60, with women being two to three times more likely to develop it than men.
The cancer is usually treatable and in many cases can be cured completely.
The picture above, on the right, shows Brown after having surgery to remove the lump in her neck.
The actress said she'd initially kept her diagnosis private because she was unsure how it would be received in “an industry obsessed with health and beauty” and thought the news might impact her career.
“I thought I had to conceal my illness from the world,” she wrote. “More recently, I’ve realised that I had nothing to be ashamed of.”
She is now hoping to raise awareness of the condition and has urged others to check their necks and look at others around them.
“Most thyroid cysts are benign, but some aren’t. Mine certainly wasn’t,” she wrote. “Get it checked.”