11/04/2011 11:04 am ET Updated Jan 04, 2012

Sofia Vergara Faced Thyroid Cancer When She Was 28

Coming on the heels of Sofia Vergara's growing entrepreneurial empire, the popular star spoke about being diagnosed with thyroid cancer 11 years ago, when she was 28, on last night's episode of ABC's Nightline.

"It was pretty scary," Vergara said, adding, "You always think 'death'; that's all you think when they tell you."

When she was first diagnosed in 2000, Vergara did not want to go public with the news, fearing the publicity it could generate. "Having cancer is not fun. You don't want to deal with anything else while you're going through it." she said in an interview with

The star and mother credits her son, Manolo, for keeping her focused on what's important during that trying time, saying "When you have a responsibility, like a kid or like a family, you cannot give yourself the luxury of going, of getting depressed."

Vergara also recognizes that it was due to being diligent about her health that her doctors were able to diagnose the thyroid cancer early. With a family history of type 1 diabetes, she had taken her son to an endocrinologist to be checked out. "The doctor wanted to check me, too, and he found a lump in my neck."




Sofia Vergara Over The Years