Sile Seoige thanks fans for support in cancer battle
RADIO presenter Sile Seoige has thanked her fans for their messages of support after she revealed she was battling thyroid cancer.
The 32-year-old was diagnosed with the condition last September, and two weeks later had to undergo an operation to have her entire thyroid removed.
Ms Seoige said she believed it was important to speak publicly and have the illness discussed to take the fear out of it for sufferers.
The Galway native, who presents a show on Newstalk radio, described the shock of her diagnosis as a "blur". She said she was just getting over it.
Ms Seoige was inundated with messages of support after revealing her condition in an interview with the 'Sunday Independent' yesterday.
Last night the presenter took to Twitter to thank her friends and fans for their support.
"I'm so touched by all the messages of positivity. People are great," she tweeted.
Sile said she was taking her recovery one day at a time but was optimistic that she'd beat the illness. "I am on medication for the rest of my life, and while I'm back at work and love it, it will take some time before I'm fully recovered," she told the 'Sunday Independent'.
"In my heart and soul I believe I will beat this."
The thyroid is located inside the front of the lower neck and produces hormones that keep your heart rate, blood pressure, and weight at the right levels.
Thyroid cancer is a condition that generally affects people who are middle aged or older. In 2009, there were 154 confirmed cases of the condition in Ireland.
Aoife McNamara, a nurse with the Irish Cancer Society's cancer information service, said it is a relatively rare condition.
"It is more common in women than men," Ms McNamara said. "With any cancer you want to find it as soon as possible, and that makes it easier to treat," she said.
Symptoms develop slowly, and can include a painless lump in the neck, which gradually gets bigger, difficulty in swallowing and breathing and hoarseness.
Treatment can include having the thyroid gland removed or partially removed, which means the patient would have to take hormone replacement medication for the rest of their lives.
In Ms Seoige's case, concerns were first raised about two years ago when she was recovering from having her appendix removed. Her surgeon discovered a swelling in her neck, but a biopsy came back clear.
It was only last September when she was confronted with the diagnosis.
She said she had spent a week in an isolation ward in Blackrock clinic when she was dosed with radioactive iodine.
Ms McNamara said the isolation is required because of the exposure to radiation.
Despite her illness, Ms Seoige has continued to present her Saturday lunchtime show 'Shenanigans with Sile'.
Ms Seoige is a native of Spiddal, Co Galway, and is the youngest of four children.
She paid tribute to her celebrity sister Grainne for being a tower of strength to her. Ms Seoige has worked in a variety of entertainment, daytime, lifestyle and factual programmes for RTE and TG4.
Fluent in English and Irish, her television credits include RTE's 'Winning Streak', 'The National Lottery Gameshow', 'Nationwide' and 'Up for the Match' as well as a number of Irish-language programmes for RTE and TG4.
She also joined her sister Grainne for a mid-afternoon show on RTE daytime television show called 'Seoige', which was subsequently dropped.
For more information on the condition contact the National Cancer Helpline on freephone 1800 200 700. It is open Monday to Thursday, 9am to 7pm, and on Friday 9am to 5pm.