Taking the High Road
- HGTV star Tarek El Moussa’s hit show Flip or Flop just aired its last season finale, and the TV host recently took to Instagram to express an emotional, heartfelt message on what the show has meant to him.
- Despite a once-rocky relationship and very public divorce with his ex and co-host Christina Haack, the two-time cancer survivor took the high road and thanked her too.
- El Moussa was diagnosed with both testicular cancer and thyroid cancer in the same year (a fan spotted the lump in his neck!). Chances of cancer recovery increase significantly with early detection, so it is important to address any warning signs of thyroid cancer, or any cancer, with a medical expert as soon as possible.
Tarek El Moussa’s hit show Flip or Flop just aired its last season finale, and the TV host recently took to Instagram to express an emotional, heartfelt message on what the show has meant to him, and despite a once-rocky divorce with his ex and co-host Christina Haack, he took the high road and thanked her, too.Read More
“A special thank you to @christinahaack for taking this journey with me,” Tarek El Moussa continued. “I think we did a pretty good job and I’m excited for what the future holds for both us and wish her nothing but the best! I would say I’m going to miss you guys but..I’m not going anywhere. I can’t wait to show you what comes next!”
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Haack also shared an upbeat message about her near future. “I’m looking forward to my next chapter and working in positive, fun and creative environments,” she told People. “I’m ready to let go of the stress and enjoy life and all it has to offer.”
El Moussa was married to Christina for nine years until the divorce was finalized in January of 2018. They have two children together: Tayler, 11, and Brayden, 6.
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El Moussa’s current wife, Selling Sunset star Heather Rae Young, 34, recently expressed that the adults all get along, at least when it comes to the children. “We coparent very well together,” Young told Us Weekly in April 2021. “We communicate daily about the kids, and they’re the most important thing in the world to all of us. So, as long as the kids are happy, we’re all happy.”
Young said “yes,” in July 2020 and the couple got married last summer in Montecito, Calif., which is right outside of Santa Barbara.
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Tarek’s Cancer Battles
In 2013, four years after he married Christina, Tarek El Moussa was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and testicular cancer (both of which he would beat).
His thyroid cancer diagnosis came after an HGTV fan, who also happened to be a nurse, noticed a lump on El Moussa’s throat while watching him on television. She contacted the network, telling them what she had seen.
In the same year, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
During a 2017 interview with People magazine, El Moussa said of the experience: “I was at one building doing my thyroid stuff, and mentioned I was going across the street to get an ultrasound done. I’ll never forget the doctor joking, ‘I hope you don’t have cancer!’”
The treatment path for both types of cancers depends upon the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed. Common treatments for testicular cancer include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Treatments for thyroid cancer can include surgery, hormone therapy, radioactive iodine, radiation and, in some cases, chemotherapy.
Understanding Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer starts in the testicles (also called testes; a single testicle is called a testis), and these organs are part of the male reproductive system. The two organs are each normally a little smaller than a golf ball in adult males, according to the American Cancer Society. The testes are held within a sac of skin called the scrotum, which hangs under the base of the penis.
Testicular cancer is not common, ACS reports; about 1 of every 250 males will develop testicular cancer at some point during their lifetime.
In contrast, since testicular cancer can usually be treated successfully, a man’s lifetime risk of dying from this cancer is very low—about 1 in 5,000.
Dr. Edwin Posadas, the medical director of the Urologic Oncology Program at Cedars-Sinai Cancer, previously told SurvivorNet that testicular cancer doesn’t often present with pain, but it can.
“Most men will present with some sort of mass on their testicle; a sexual partner or spouse may feel the mass when they’re being intimate,” he said, adding that some men may notice blood in their ejaculate as a result of testicular cancer, which is a less common symptom.
Understanding Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer starts in the thyroid gland, which helps regulate your metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
ACS reports that symptoms may include a lump, swelling or pain in the neck, voice changes, trouble swallowing or breathing, or even a constant cough.
“Most people have no discreet symptoms; the majority of cases now are found incidentally,” Dr. Allen Ho, a head and neck surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview. “However, a sizable number of people may first discover their cancer when they feel a bump on their neck.”
“Other possible late symptoms include problems swallowing, the sensation of something in their throat, neck compression when laying flat or voice changes,” Dr. Ho adds.
The good news is that many of these possible symptoms, including lumps in the thyroid, are both common and commonly benign, but it never hurts to ask your doctor.
Chances of cancer recovery increase significantly with early detection, so it is important to address any warning signs of thyroid cancer, or any cancer, with a medical expert as soon as possible. Plus, since most of us are not HGTV stars, we don’t have the luxury of millions of fans watching our every move. Self-awareness is always key … and checking yourself out in the mirror every once in a while doesn’t hurt.