Sofia Vergara issues heartfelt plea as she reflects on shock cancer diagnosis when she was 28

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer over 20 years ago

Sofia Vergara arrives for the "America's Got Talent" live show at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood
(Image credit: Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)

Sofia Vergara has opened up about her experience after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was just 28 years old, sharing a heartfelt plea with Stand Up to Cancer viewers. 

The Modern Family star, who is best known for her role as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the hit sitcom, has had a busy year so far, as it was announced she will be launching her own beauty brand. Now, alongside her acting and brand commitments, Sofia has also joined forces with fellow Hollywood greats in honor of an incredibly poignant television event as she took part in a Stand Up To Cancer Telethon on August 21. The telethon was executive produced by fellow actor Reese Witherspoon, who has recently become Hollywood’s highest earning female actor

Coming together with the other hosts in honor of this important cause, Sofia candidly spoke out about her own experience with cancer, revealing deeply personal details of how she came to receive this life-altering diagnosis. As reported by The Independent, the now-49-year-old star shared, “At 28 years old during a doctor’s visit, my doctor felt a lump in my neck. 

Sofia Vergara at America's Got Talent Filming on April 18, 2021

(Image credit: Photo by Sam Payne/Broadimage/MEGA/GC Images via Getty)

She continued, "They did a lot of tests and told me finally that I had thyroid cancer. When you’re young and you hear the word ‘cancer’, your mind goes to so many places but I tried not to panic and I decided to get educated.”

Sofia went on to explain that she “read every book and found out everything I could about it” after her diagnosis, remarking upon how fortunate she was that doctors were able to detect the cancer so early. 

She also revealed that the support of her family was so important and a huge source of comfort throughout this challenging time.

“I learned a lot during that time, not just about thyroid cancer but I also learned that in times of crisis, we’re better together,” she said, before reportedly going on to issue an incredibly heartfelt plea to viewers.

“I am here to remind you to get screened,” the Emmy-Nominated actor is said to have declared, revealing that she continues to be mindful of her health and ensures she receives check-ups annually.

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“Every year I get my pap smear, my moles checked, my mammogram, I even from time to time get a colonoscopy,” Sofia is understood to have explained. For many people, checking and identifying possible signs of cancer isn't always easy, with 2 in every 5 women supposedly not knowing the symptoms of womb cancer.

Sofia's moving words about her own experience being diagnosed and reading up to discover more about thyroid cancer joined those of several other stars who came together for this significant telethon. This included Chris Evans, Friends star Paul Rudd, Jennifer Garner and Stand Up To Cancer co-founder Katie Couric. 

Reese Witherspoon, who executive produced the telethon, also opened the special and made several memorable appearances throughout.

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“Unfortunately cancer touches all of us,” Reese said. “We've all got a story to share. Every day from every corner of this country, we lose 1,670 people to cancer.

“But we can end this heartache by supporting Stand Up To Cancer, and when you give, 100% of your donations received tonight go directly to fund groundbreaking cancer research,” the Legally Blonde actor continued.

Reese went on to share their commitment to helping every cancer patient become a long-term survivor, just like Sofia. 

“We are connected and scattered all over the world but together in spirit and committed to turn every cancer patient into a long-term survivor,” she powerfully declared. 

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!