Queen of Soul, the one and only Aretha Franklin, has – alas – perished at the age of 76 (young, in this day and age). Beloved the world over for evergreen hits like ‘Respect’ and ‘I Say A Little Prayer’, she was as a vocalist beyond compare when it came to people working in the sphere of popular music. And while she had a formidable reputation as someone with whom it wasn’t always straightforward or easy to work, there can be no doubting her extraordinary talent, polished via a childhood singing in church. Health was never an easy thing for her to maintain, particularly given that her weight was always in flux. In the mid-to-late 1970s when she had her slim period, her record sales began to decline. When Clive Davis stepped in and steered her career back to safety in the 1980s, she enjoyed hits again, but also gradually began to lose control of her eating. In the end, though, it was pancreatic cancer, not food, that sealed her fate. And it’s a cancer that doesn’t get nearly enough attention, and which therefore is not widely understood by the public. It’s something worth considering discussing the next time you have gay massage.
Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to spot in its early stages and it travels terribly rapidly to other parts of the body. Most people diagnosed (almost 95 per cent) will have what is known as the adenocarcinoma-type, which comes with a frightening five-year survival rate of 8 per cent. Just consider how dramatically that compares with other cancers – breast cancer (90 per cent survival rate), colon cancer (65 per cent survival rate). Even lung cancer scores better, with its 18 per cent survival rate. The next time you have gay massage London, why not also take the time to learn more about what pancreatic cancer is?
Aretha herself did not have the adenocarcinoma type. She was diagnosed with the less common form – the neuroendocrine form. This entails tumours forming in the hormone-making section of the pancreas. Although it is slightly easier to treat than the other form and spreads a bit more slowly, it is still deathly serious. And what makes it even more so is that pancreatic cancer is on the increase, and is predicted to become the second most common cancer in the West in the next ten years or so.
Pancreatic cancer is less responsive to chemotherapy than other cancers, so research is needed, but the cancer still struggles to capture the public imagination in terms of awareness campaigns and funding. Perhaps a good start is knowing about the risks, because in its early stages, the cancer is symptom-less. Firstly, the cancer is a bit more prevalent in men than in women and people usually get their diagnosis fairly late in life (in their sixties or seventies). Risk factors include smoking and diabetes. However, with the second of these (diabetes), it is not yet clear whether diabetes causes pancreatic cancer, or is merely an early symptom of it.
Stay tuned for more information about this silent killer which, thanks to Aretha Franklin, is now finally getting the attention it deserves.