‘Bonkers’ way viewer saved reality star
A former Big Brother star has revealed the "bonkers" way a viewer helped save her life after spotting something worrying on her neck during a TV appearance.
Bree Amer said a dedicated doctor from Wollongong spent a year trying to contact her after noticing a lump on her neck when she hosted Big Brother Friday Night Live in 2005.
A year later, after coincidentally seeing one of Bree's former housemates, the message was passed on and Bree was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
"I thought he was a bit bonkers to start off with," the 37-year-old told Daily Mail Australia.
Despite this, Bree mentioned the doctor's comments at her next GP appointment, who was quick to take action.
"Eventually I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I had two surgeries and radioactive iodine treatment. I was really lucky he got in touch," she said.
A clip from her appearance on Friday Night Live showed a round lump protruding from the former Big Brother star's neck as she discussed that year's contestants with her two co-hosts.
Bree, who was 23 when she rose to fame in the 2004 season of the popular reality show, explained the GP had previously gone to great measures to try to warn her - including spending $400 calling through to Mike Goldman's Up Late show's competition line.
"He saw it and I came back a year later and it was bigger," she said. "He tried to get in contact with me for like a year."
Thankfully, she is now "well and truly out of the woods" with Cancer.org.au stating the five-year survival rate for thyroid cancer is 97 per cent - but Bree said she still needs regular six-monthly check-ups.
The cancer charity said there are often "no obvious signs" of this type of cancer, but there are a few symptoms including difficulty breathing and swallowing and swollen glands in the neck.
Bree isn't the first well-known Australian who has been helped by a concerned viewer, with Network 10 reporter Antoinette Lattouf revealing in January a viewer had spotted a potentially deadly cyst on her throat during her segment on Studio 10.
The worried viewer had alerted mother-of-two Antoinette through a message to the program's official Facebook page that said they had spotted something "strange" on the left side of her neck.
She was later found to have a large cyst that she had removed in an "incredibly painful" surgery and was also diagnosed with an auto-immune disease.
Originally published as 'Bonkers' way viewer saved reality star