(NEW YORK) — Brooke Burke-Charvet, co-host of this weekend’s Miss America competition, says she was “very fortunate” to have detected her cancer and is now cancer-free.
Burke-Charvet, appearing Tuesday morning on ABC’s Good Morning America for the first time without wearing a scarf to hide her post-surgery scar, is thankful for her health while looking forward to a new season of Dancing With the Stars and a bright future with her family.
“It was shocking,” she said. “I never thought I’d hear the word cancer in relation to myself. The movie in my mind when I got my diagnosis was that I’m a mother, I’ve got four children and a family counting on me. And it’s a little bit scary to really hear that news, but I did my research and met with an incredible medical team.”
Burke-Charvet, 41, admits revealing her thyroid cancer diagnosis to her four children was difficult.
“All the children really handled it differently. I chose not to share it with the children too soon because I was waiting several months before I scheduled my surgery. My son actually said, ‘Is papa going to get it?’ In his mind, at 4-years-old, he doesn’t know what cancer means.
“My 6-year-old said ‘Mommy, I’m going to go with you, I’m going to hold your hand, I’m going to every appointment.’ My oldest daughter, it was really difficult for her when it was in the news, and her friends had to come to her and say ‘Oh we heard about your mom and we’re so sorry.’ You know, she cried, she wanted to know if I was OK, she made me promise her that nothing was going to happen.”
And fortunately for Burke-Charvet, she detected the cancer early on and was able to keep that promise to her oldest child.
“The message is really about preventative health,” she explained. “Because I had no symptoms, and generally with thyroid cancer, it’s very subtle symptoms. I went for a regular physical.
“Fortunately, I did a lot of research and I knew that the prognosis for thyroid cancer is really excellent. I knew I was going to be OK. But I was also very fortunate that I was responsible enough to do a regular physical and then take action.”
Burke-Charvet first revealed she had thyroid cancer on Nov. 8 in a YouTube video titled, “Cancer. Me?”
“I need to have thyroid surgery, have a thyroidectomy, which means that I’m going to have a nice big scar right here across my neck,” she said in the video. “It is taking me a couple of months to really wrap my head around this.”
However, not long after on Dec. 12, she got some much better news, letting her fans know she was cancer free on her blog.
“The thyroid cancer has been removed from my body and all my lymph nodes are clear. So I’m hoping that this is the end of the story … Thank God!,” she wrote.
And now the vivacious DWTS co-host is already back to work with new fitness DVDs called Brooke Burke Body: Sexy Abs and Brooke Burke Body: 30-Day Slim Down.
“I’m back to work and I feel great,” Burke-Charvet said. “I never thought I’d be in New York talking fitness and recovering from this cancer scare. But it’s amazing.”
She will be hosting the Miss America competition with Chris Harrison live this Saturday, Jan. 12, at 9/8 central on ABC.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio