Wayne (Thomas) Jones "Wayne" Thomas Jones

First post: Oct 23, 2016 Latest post: Nov 2, 2016

By Robin Jones - Yesterday

The message my husband, Wayne Jones 57, is eager to put out there after beginning his treatment for throat cancer that has been tied to the infection HPV-16, one of the most aggressive strains of the virus. Wayne has been a Waterman for nearly 4 decades, who may have been sick a handful of times and anyone that lives on the Eastern Shore knows that the waterman are tough as nails! This is a man who hardly ever gets sick, lives in daily pain from "land" related job injuries, but still considers himself fairly healthy despite his diabetes and being somewhat on the heavy side. Wayne is a son, a husband, a father of 6 grown children, and a grandfather to 10. His journey down this road began around the end of March he said he felt like he had a knot in his throat, but it went away and he didn't think anything about it until August when he had been feeling run down, his throat was persistently sore and glands in his neck were swollen. He was tired and just felt bad all the time, he had lost about 40 pounds, and thought he had strep or the flu. Around the end of July beginning of August he went to docs-in they ran all kinds of test and took X-rays! The X-rays showed he had a mass that started behind his left ear and was pressing on his juggler... they gave him antibiotics and steroids and told him to follow up with our primary on Monday! Our primary did further testing and sent him to a ENT. The ENT ran a scope and several more test. One of which was a small needle biopsy... that came back negative for cancer! We were so excited thought he was out of the woods but, the ENT still felt that it was cancer and sent Wayne to John Hopkins and there, they did a Laryngoscopy biopsy that confirmed Wayne has a high risk HPV related Squamish cell carcinoma...His tonsil, part of his tongue, the gland and several lymph nodes tested malignant! We were hoping for surgery but, the cancer had matastized and was pressing on nerves to his ear and down to his juggler so unfortunately, he was not a candidate for the robotic arm surgery. The treatment plan is 35 days of radiation treatment for 45 minutes, five days a week for 7 weeks, and 7 rounds of chemotherapy once a week for 5 1/2 hours at the Weinberg Cancer Center at John Hopkins. Wayne wants to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated against HPV. He wants to bring awareness to HPV, the Human papillomavirus infection which is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide. We were told that Most sexually active men and women become infected with HPV at some point during their lifetime and most don't even know it! Most people clear the virus in about two years, but in a small proportion of those infected, the virus lays dormant then something triggers it and it later can cause cancer. HPV is a virus that infects moist skin, and the oral cavity is particularly susceptible, the tissue around the tonsils and the base of the tongue, the research points toward “deep kissing” and "oral sex" as major culprits in HPV transmission. In a small proportion of those infected with the virus, they may develop mouth and throat cancers years — even decades — later. We have been told that It takes a long time for exposure to HPV Virus to eventually develop into cancer, that Wayne was probably infected in his 20's .....over 30 years ago! This is what puts so many at an increased risk of cancer. These cases could be dramatically reduced — in fact, maybe even eliminated — if both girls and boys were vaccinated against the most dangerous strains of HPV before they become sexually active! We learned from Wayne's oncology team at John Hopkins, that only 40% of the population has gotten the HPV vaccine over the past 10 years! He doesn't want anyone to have to go through what He is... There are vaccines now that can protect against infection from up to several different strains of HPV virus. When most people think about HPV, they think about women and cervical cancer, but the statistics show that at least one in three HPV cancers occurs in males. While females can have regular Pap tests to detect precancerous lesions in the cervix, there are no test for HPV-related cancers in the mouth and throat, so vaccination is the best way to prevent those diseases. The HPV vaccinations are for boys as well as girls! Our pediatrician offered it us when our youngest son, Dustin was 12... I thank god everyday that he may never have to go through this! People don’t perceive HPV as an infection like hepatitis or another infectious disease that has an immediate need of control, especially when the vaccinations are recommended for children who are not sexually active yet! We’re talking about a consequences of an infection that takes 20 to 30 years to happen. Even though everyone fears cancer, the risk is not perceived the same! People don’t like to talk about sex, or a disease that comes from sex, and worst of all, a sexually transmitted infection that ends up causing cancer. It has been a nightmare, and Wayne is just beginning this long and most painful process! While, Wayne is embarrassed he also feels that people need to know!

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