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After a turbulent start to 2017, Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa recently received some good news: He is still cancer-free.
The reality star, who battled thyroid cancer three years ago, revealed the news Wednesday, more than a month after he and wife and co-star Christina El Moussa revealed they had separated earlier in 2016. The El Moussas, who share two children, have since been making tabloid headlines over their split. Tarek filed divorce papers earlier this month.
Tarek posted on his Instagram page a screenshot of a text message conversation with his doctor following a checkup. According to the exchange, the reality star had undergone blood tests and an ultrasound.
"So far all the labs look great. Thyroglobin is low. Beta hcg low. Testosterone leave normal. Nothing to suggest any badness from your thyroid cancer which is great news," the texts read. "Your ultrasound was pristine. No thyroid tissue and nothing suspicious in your neck. It is great news."
"Wow that is really really great news!!! Thank you so much!! I'm relieved..sorry I didn't answer," Tarek replied. "At an event."
Tarek was diagnosed with Stage 2 thyroid cancer in 2013, thanks to a fan. A registered nurse had watched a marathon of Flip of Flop, noticed a lump on the reality star's neck and contacted the show's producers about it.
He underwent surgery to remove his thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes, underwent iodine radiation treatment and was put on levothyroxine, an oral synthetic thyroid medication that would replace the natural hormones his thyroid produced, for life. He then went into remission.
The reality star had also recently experienced rapid heart rate and palpitations—symptoms of hyperthyroidism, which suggested he was taken too much thyroid medication.
"Still #cancer #free!!!!" Tarek wrote. "Having cancer is a very scary thing...I always get nervous going into each check up and today I got GREAT news!! Having no thyroid and balancing medications is tough! I'm finally at UCLA and I'm on the right doses of medication."
"People don't know but I was very over medicated with rapid heart rate and palpitations to the point where I wore a heart rate monitor," he said. "It really messed me up but today everything is dialed and I finally feel great after 3 years!!"