A sharp New York doctor who spotted a cancerous lump on a woman’s throat as she appeared on HGTV’s Bargain Hunter may have saved her life.
Dr. Erich Voight, an otolaryngologist affiliated with NYU Langone Health, had been watching an episode of HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt in May when he noticed a small lump on a woman’s throat.
“I was relaxing after a day of work, watching beautiful beach houses and day-dreaming,” Voigt told the New York Post. “But then I noticed the lump. It stood out — and I went from being relaxed to [thinking], gosh, she may have a medical problem.”
Voight, who has experience examining other patients with similar symptoms, noticed the lump on the woman’s throat looked asymmetrical and moved in a way that worried him.
“I thought, I don’t think she knows she has this. I felt obliged and sort of guilty, like I should let her know,” he said. “I paused my TV and rewound it. I had to make a choice whether to ignore it or actively try to contact her.”
At that moment, the doctor made it his mission to track down Nicole McGuinness, 32, using social media to inform her that she should seek medical attention.
Voight contacted McGuinness two weeks later and told her she should get a biopsy and a sonogram of the lump to check for cancer. A local doctor tested McGuinness and discovered that she had thyroid cancer. She is currently undergoing treatment.
“It’s just a miracle, in my opinion, that he happened to see this on television,” McGuinness, who is also a brain cancer survivor, told ABC News.
McGuinness and the doctor met each other in Manhattan Tuesday to film a segment for Good Morning America.
“Helping her was heartwarming and emotional,” Voight said. “I’ve held back some tears.”