Sangita Patel says her husband was 'freaking out' after reading her cancer report

The 45-year-old mother-of-two spoke to 'The Ladygang' podcast about learning she had a rare and aggressive form of thyroid cancer.

Sangita Patel spoke to
Sangita Patel spoke to "The Ladygang" podcast about her thyroid diagnosis. (Image via Getty Images)

Sangita Patel is sharing new information about her cancer journey.

On Thursday, the 45-year-old producer and host of TLC’s “Love & Translation” appeared as a guest on “The Ladygang” podcast co-hosted by fellow Canadian Keltie Knight, actress Becca Tobin and producer Jac Vanek.

The mother-of-two spoke candidly about noticing a rapidly growing lump on her neck that she learned was a rare form of thyroid cancer called encapsulated invasive oncocytic carcinoma (also known as Hürthle cell carcinoma) in 2023.

“If I don’t treat this, that means the cancer will come back in five years in my bones or my lungs,” Patel recalled.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, Hürthle cell carcinoma is an aggressive form of thyroid cancer that could potentially impact a person’s ability to “speak or breathe.” This form of cancer, although rare, is more commonly found in women and accounts for approximately 3 per cent of all thyroid cancers.

Symptoms of Hürthle cell carcinoma can include fatigue, pain in the neck or throat, swollen lymph nodes, unintentional weight loss, difficulty swallowing or breathing and a painful lump in the front of your throat.

Sangita Patel, 45, spoke to
Sangita Patel, 45, spoke to "The Ladygang" podcast about her thyroid cancer diagnosis. (Image via Getty Images)

The former “ET Canada” host told Knight and Tobin that she knew something about her diagnosis was worrying when her husband of 20 years, Samir, who works as a radiologist, read her report.

“My husband doesn’t freak out, he never reacts,” Patel said, adding that her husband sat back in his chair and made a gesture that signalled to her that all was not well. “I was standing behind him and this calmness came over me because I knew he was freaking out… and then he goes, ‘Let’s go for a walk.’ And just walked very quietly just holding my hand.”

Patel admitted that her husband hasn’t fully come to terms with her diagnosis or felt the extend of his emotions.

“I don’t know if I’m ready for it,” she said.

Patel’s cancer diagnosis came following the cancellation of “ET Canada” and while her father was ill. She admitted that although she’s a fairly positive person, there were times when she became overwhelmed.

“I let myself live in that low,” she said. “Let yourself be there, let yourself cry, do that ugly cry, do whatever you have to do to get that moment — but don’t stay in it.”

Sangita Patel and her husband, Dr. Samir Patel. (Image via Instagram/@sangita.patel)
Sangita Patel and her husband, Dr. Samir Patel. (Image via Instagram/@sangita.patel)

Patel told Knight that she gives herself a “time limit” to feel her feelings and then lets them go so that they don’t consume her.

Patel underwent surgery to remove the lump in Oct. 2023. In January, the Toronto native took to Instagram to give followers an update on her health following an innovative surgery called a Transoral Endoscopic Thyroidectomy Vestibular Approach (TOETVA).

"There's no scarring on the neck. What they do is, they put two rods in here," she said, pointing to each side of her chin.

"And then one main one that goes through your chin to your neck. I have a lot of scarring tissue," she added, noting two dents on her chin from the procedure. Patel also mentioned experiencing tightness in her neck and difficulty with certain movements due to the surgery.

"Sometimes I have to take a deep breath or swallow hard... My voice is pretty much back to normal — I can't really hit high notes yet while I'm going through still healing and trying to get my face back to normal."

Patel told followers that she will have a second surgery as well as radiation to ensure she's completely cancer-free.

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