Model And Reality Show Star Urges Fans To Get Checked By Doctors
- Appearing on a podcast, reality TV star Demi Jones, 23, urged her fans to see their doctors, saying cancer “doesn’t discriminate” based on age.
- Jones has been cancer-free since December after undergoing surgery to treat thyroid cancer. She had previously called the medical team that treated her “superheroes” for saving her life.
- Symptoms of thyroid cancer may include a lump, swelling or pain in the neck, voice changes, trouble swallowing or breathing or even a constant cough.
The 23-year-old reality show contestant and Instagram model made an appearance on the Reality With Will Njobvu podcast to discuss her triumphant battle with thyroid cancer. Speaking to her legions of devoted fans, she said she wanted them to know that cancer isn’t something that just affects older people, but young and seemingly healthy ones, too.Read More
(An American version of Love Island appears on CBS.)
Jones said receiving the news she had cancer was a major blow during a time in her life when everything was seemingly coming together.
“I had just come off this big TV show with all these opportunities in front of me,” she said. “Don’t let your young life get ahead of you and make sure you’re taking the time to check and make sure you take the time to go to the doctors.”
Cancer-free since December, Jones told the podcast host that she’s received countless messages from fans asking her about lumps they’ve discovered. She told them to go see doctors instead of asking her for medical advice.
In another recent interview, Jones had praised her medical team, calling them “superheroes,” and said she would wear the scar from her surgery as a badge of honor.
Demi Jones’ Family Battle
Unfortunately, Jones was not alone in her cancer battle. A few years before having her lump checked, her step-father Adrian, 46, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. Doctors said he likely only had a year to live, but, happily, that turned out to be wrong. The family has been able to enjoy four more years together, and counting, after Adrian took part in an experimental clinical trial.
“We were shocked to be told they thought he had just 12 months initially. We all shut down and went into grief mode,” said Jones. “They got him into a clinical trial which he has responded really well to, and sometimes we forget that his cancer is terminal because he seems so healthy. The care has been exceptional.”
As for her own fight, it’s not quite over. Jones is still speaking with Repanos every three months and going for scans every year for the next 10 years. But for his help in saving her life and the lives of others, Jones has nominated the surgeon for The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards.
Demi Jones Not Alone In Fighting Thyroid Cancer
Jones isn’t alone in battling thyroid cancer. Fellow reality star Tarek El Moussa was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2013.
His thyroid cancer diagnosis came after an HGTV fan, who also happened to be a nurse, noticed a lump on El Moussa’s throat while watching him on television. She contacted the network, telling them what she’d seen. That same year, he was also diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Moussa, 40, is set to star in a new reality series, The Flipping El Moussas, with second wife Heather Rae El Moussa, 34.
Formerly, Tarek spent time on a show with a similar premise beside now ex-wife, Christina Haack, 38. on the hit reality show, Flip or Flop. Tarek and Christina now co-parent their two children, Taylor, 12, and Brayden. 7.
I Had A Talk With God And Knew I’d Be Okay
Things To Know About Thyroid Cancer
Spotting thyroid cancer can often be difficult. The American Cancer Society reports that symptoms may include a lump, swelling or pain in the neck, voice changes, trouble swallowing or breathing or even a constant cough.
“Most people have no discrete symptoms — the majority of cases now are found incidentally,” Dr. Allen Ho, a head and neck surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, tells SurvivorNet. “However, a sizable number of people may first discover their cancer when they feel a bump on their neck. Other possible late symptoms include problems swallowing, the sensation of something in their throat, neck compression when laying flat or voice changes.”
Thyroid cancer is fairly common, with the American Cancer Society estimating that almost 44,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year. The disease is around three times more likely to affect women than men.
In recent years, the number of diagnosed cases has been going up, but that might be good news. Improvements to scan technology has made it more likely to pick up signs of the disease, leading to earlier and more effective treatment.
A Variety Of Treatments
However, surgery, like the one Demi Jones underwent for her treatment, is often recommended as part of a course of action. These surgeries can range in severity, from removing a portion of the thyroid to removing the lymph nodes in the neck. While recovery from surgery can vary from person to person, most patients make a recovery in 10 days to two weeks.
Aside from surgery, there are a range of other possible treatments that a doctor might recommend. Those include hormone therapy that can suppress the growth of cancerous cells, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or using targeted drugs.