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Hill Harper Describes Life After Thyroid Cancer

September 10th, 2011 12:00pm EDT

Hill HarperCancer survivor Hill Harper is having to watch what he eats and exercise religiously after his thyroid was removed in surgery. 

The author and actor has been given the all-clear after undergoing surgery to remove his cancerous thyroid - but now he faces a constant battle to stay in shape. 

He explains, "They (doctors) say that the cancer was pretty much localized in the thyroid, so when they took out my thyroid, I'm good. The only problem is I don't have any more metabolism because my thyroid's gone, so if I blow up like the girl in Willy Wonka, it wouldn't be too good. 

"Exercise is the key, so I'm just trying to exercise as much as I can." 

The CSI: NY star admits the cancer diagnosis was particularly scary for him because his father, grandfather and uncle had all succumbed to the disease. 

He explains, "On the male side of my family, cancer has been very insidious and so I'm just attempting to live a lifestyle that doesn't follow in their footsteps." 

Harper tells Access Hollywood Live he was shooting a movie when he realised something was wrong - he woke up one morning and couldn't swallow: "I went to the doctor... and they stuck 16 needles in my neck to try to figure out what was going on, and it just made me take a step back."

Hill Harper

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