Tarek El Moussa Says He Was “Really Sick” For Six Seasons of 'Flip or Flop'

Kelly Corbett
·2-min read
Photo credit: HGTV House Party on discovery+
Photo credit: HGTV House Party on discovery+

From House Beautiful

It's no secret that HGTV's Tarek El Moussa has had an unfortunate streak of medical scares. Throughout his decade on television, the 39-year-old survived both thyroid and testicular cancer, as well as recovered from a debilitating back injury. On a recent episode of HGTV House Party, he opened up about how difficult it was to film his hit show Flip or Flop while his health was poor.

He sat down with hosts Brian Balthazar and Loren Ruch, who are both former HGTV executives that he's worked closely with in the past. "People don't realize that for six of the nine seasons, I was really sick," he said. "Yeah, you didn't stop," Balthazar quipped. "One season, I'm 240 pounds, the next season I'm 160 pounds," El Moussa said, adding "it was a rough run filming through those years."

Photo credit: HGTV House Party on discovery+
Photo credit: HGTV House Party on discovery+

As a refresher, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after a nurse watching season one of Flip or Flop at home noticed a lump on his neck and sent an email to HGTV suggesting he get it checked out. Further testing then revealed he also had testicular cancer. "And then I hurt my back. The back was the worst," he said, adding "I could barely walk."

He recalled how filming went during the injury. "So we were shooting Flip or Flop and they would like have to carry [me] to my spot where we needed to do our scene. And then they would come and help me go back with crutches back to my chair."

In addition to beating cancer twice (!), El Moussa's back fully healed. "Stem cell worked and surgery worked," he shared with Balthazar and Ruch. The men also discussed the present and how his fiancée Heather Rae Young has brought him so much joy after such a difficult period in his life. HGTV House Party is currently streaming on discovery+.

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