News presenter discovers rare illness after viewer spots lump on air

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Network 10 presenter and reporter Antoinette Lattouf has opened up about the shocking moment an astute listener’s text message saved her career and possibly her life.

The news reporter spoke to Yahoo Lifestyle about the moment a concerned viewer spotted something amiss during her appearance on Studio 10 last Friday, which she shared in a personal piece on 10Daily this week.

As shown in the clip above, Antoinette was discussing the controversy surrounding Marc Jacobs’ new Virgin Mary crystal statues at the time.

As the presenter was talking a large, round mound on her neck became noticeable, something like an ‘Adam’s apple’, as Antoinette described it.

The protrusion didn’t escape the notice of Wendy, a savvy viewer at home who decided to contact the show about the suspicious lump on the journalist’s neck, having spotted a similar one on a friend who turned out to have cancer.

Finishing the show, the mum of two was called over by producers who had received the following text from Wendy.

“Has Antoinette Lattouf had her thyroid checked? I am not being smart or trolling just concerned with what I saw on TV today?” Antoinette quoted the message.

A funny angle on Studio 10 prompted the feedback, which may have changed Antoinette's life. Photo: Studio 10

Antoinette told Yahoo Lifestyle that initially she pushed back against the unsolicited feedback.

“My first reaction was ‘ok Boomer..’,” she jokes.

“So at first I was a bit defensive and a little bit shocked.”

She explained that with a long and complicated family history of thyroid cancer and diseases she shelved her disbelief and visited the doctor, where tests revealed a rare condition that could have been life, and career, altering.

“My condition is not cancer, but quite rare, but can really start to impede neck function like breathing and speaking,” she says.

Antoinette is sure the condition would have had a dramatic impact on her career. Photo: Instagram/antoinette_lattouf

As a broadcast journalist this, of course, would not only have drastically changed her life but would have seriously impeded her career.

Catching it early means she can treat it, and ideally avoid any long term impacts.

“I so appreciated that a random stranger felt compelled enough, and cared enough to contact Network 10 and let me know that she was worried and that she had seen a lump like that on a friend of hers,” she says.

Reaching out to Wendy afterwards, Antoinette received a heartwarming response.

“Wow I am so glad I said something,” the viewer wrote in a text message.

“I nearly did not.”

Many media personalities receive feedback of a very different kind online, making this story that much sweeter.

“It was a welcome bit of feedback,” Antoinette admits. “Often people are the worst versions of themselves online.”

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