Love Island star Demi Jones diagnosed with cancer

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Demi JonesImage source, Getty Images

Former Love Island contestant Demi Jones has said she's been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The reality TV star announced the news to fans on Instagram.

The 22-year-old wrote: "Hi guys, I got my results today and unfortunately I have thyroid cancer."

Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones.

She added: "The tumour has been removed but I'm now due to have more surgery to remove the rest of my thyroid."

It is most common in people in their 30s and women are two to three times more likely to develop it than men, according to the NHS.

Demi, who was on the 2020 series of the ITV show, said she was "staying very positive".

"I'm a strong girl so I'll be fine, thank you for your love and support always. I'll bounce back stronger."

Her followers on Instagram have been receiving updates from Demi since she discovered a lump in her neck in early April.

She was admitted to hospital where she had the "potentially cancerous" lump removed and has been awaiting the results of further tests.

Demi entered the Love Island villa on day 16 of Love Island 2020 and made it to the final, coming third alongside Luke Mabbott, who she had partnered up with on the show. They have since split.

There's been widespread support since news of her diagnosis, including from fellow Love Island contestant Shaughna Phillips.

What you need to know about thyroid cancer

"It's very treatable and for most thyroid cancers, we wouldn't expect them to have a significant impact on your life expectancy," Dr Amy Roy tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

She's a consultant clinical oncologist specialising in thyroid cancer and says there are four types - with the most common one occurring in younger people.

"There is a small group which can be lethal, but thankfully they are very rare. And they tend to occur in older people."

The signs:

Dr Roy says for most people, their cancer is picked up by accident when they're having a scan for another reason.

"But for some it will be because they've felt a lump in their neck."

She advises anyone who feels a lump in their neck, which stays there for more than a few weeks and isn't associated with a cold, cough or sore throat, to visit the GP.

The treatment:

Thyroid cancer has a "really good prognosis because there's such good treatments", according to Dr Roy.

Around nine in every 10 people are alive five years after a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Many of these are cured and will have a normal lifespan.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Dr Roy says a GP will be able to examine and suggest further treatment if needed

She adds some of the treatments include surgery to remove the gland - which often is the only thing you need.

"Another might be to give thyroid replacement hormone so your body doesn't produce the hormone which can drive thyroid cancer."

There are other treatments like swallowing a radioactive tablet or liquid that can kill cancer cells - and in "rare cases" you may need more conventional treatments like chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

For more information and support on cancer, visit the BBC Action Line for a list of organisations that could help.

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