Love Island U.K. star Demi Jones announced she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last week. The 22-year-old reality TV star told fans she was trying to stay positive in the face of adversity. Jones has been keeping fans up to date with her health journey since last month, when she first felt a lump in her neck.
On Thursday, Jones shared a video with fans on her Instagram Story, revealing that she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The tumor was removed, but Jones said she will still need more surgery to remove the rest of her thyroid. "I'm staying very positive and I'm a strong girl so I'll be fine, thank you for your love and support always. I'll bounce back stronger," Jones told fans, reports The Daily Mail.
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Before her surgery, Jones told fans that they should always get lumps checked out by their doctors, notes SurvivorNet. Jones also urged fans not to be afraid to push doctors if they believe something is wrong when initial tests show otherwise. "At my scan, they said 'everything looks fine' and went to send me on my way," Jones wrote on Instagram. "I challenged it and asked if they could do more, in which they said 'oh well we can test the fluid if you want us to?' Thank god I asked as it was the fluid that [came] back potentially cancerous. Always push!"
Jones first felt the lump in January 2019 but did not get it checked out immediately because she was finishing university. She then signed up for Love Island, appearing in the show last year. She finally had her first scan before she began filming and was told everything was fine. However, the lump continued to grow, and she sought a second scan. That scan was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She was also inspired to get a second scan because of her father's own cancer battle she told Metro last year. "When you're a young girl, you're more worried about boys and going out with your friends than checking for lumps and bumps," she said at the time. "But it's only because it's something prominent on my neck that I knew it was an issue and unfortunately my dad had a lump and he developed cancer so I knew you need to keep a check on these things." Jones said her lump had grown to the size of a golf ball when it was removed.
On Friday, Jones shared photos with her adorable dog on Instagram, thanking fans for their support. "I'll get through this, and I'll do it with a smile on my face. Thank you for all the love," she wrote.
Thyroid cancer occurs in the thyroid gland, located below the Adam's apple, the Mayo Clinic explains. As the cancer grows, it can cause a lump you can feel in your neck, changes in your voice, difficulty swallowing, pain in your neck and swollen lymph nodes in your neck. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should see a doctor if you feel any of these symptoms. It occurs among women more often than men.