A former Big Brother Australia star has shared the incredible story of how she discovered she had cancer after a doctor watching at home noticed a problem with her appearance.
Bree Amer, who appeared on the reality series in 2004 and returned as host of a Big Brother Live show the following year, said a Wollongong viewer had noticed a lump protruding from her neck.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Amer said the lump turned out to be an inch-and-a-half tumour, which she only discovered after almost a year of the doctor desperately trying to get in touch with her.
The reality TV personality said the doctor spent nearly $400 of his own money calling one of the show's competition lines in an attempt to alert Amer of the potentially life-threatening deformity.
It wasn't until one of Amer's former Big Brother housemates walked into the eagle-eyed doctor's office that they were able to pass on the urgent message to her.
"I thought he was a bit bonkers to start off with," Amer said.
"Eventually I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I had two surgeries, and radioactive iodine treatment. I was really lucky he got in touch!"
These days, Amer is a mother of two and cancer free, although she still gets her thyroid regularly monitored with check ups every six months.
The new season of Big Brother Australia premieres on Three this Sunday, June 28, at 7.30pm.