Janet Jackson health: ‘I’m recovering’ – star on the rumours about her health

Janet Jackson health: ‘I’m recovering’ – star on the rumours about her health

Janet Jackson: Sky tease documentary in star-studded trailer

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Having known stardom since she was the age of seven, Janet has gone on to sell over 100 million records. Despite the career being fuelled by some controversy, she has become known for breaking gender and racial barriers in the process. Winning five Grammy Awards and eleven Billboard Music Awards, the first episode of the new documentary – which was filmed over five years – promises to be full of entertainment. Although Janet is without a doubt used to the Hollywood rumour mill, back in 2016 the star spoke out against one particular rumour that said she had been diagnosed with throat cancer, putting the future of her singing career in jeopardy.

After having to postpone the last month of her then tour Unbreakable, after doctors recommended that the star have surgery, many were left wondering what exactly was wrong with the Rhythm Nation singer.

“I need you to know, I learned today, from my doctors that I must have surgery soon,” Jackson wrote on social media at the time.

“It breaks my heart to tell you that I am forced to postpone the Unbreakable Tour until the spring. Every date will be rescheduled. Please hold on to your tickets.

“They will be honoured in a special way when the new schedule is announced. Please pray for me, my family and our entire company during this difficult time.

“There will be no further comment. I love you all so much and am ever grateful for your understanding and your love. Gon’ b alright.”

Although confessing that she was going through a “difficult” time, the star refused to comment further as to what surgery she had been advised to have.

As a result, speculation soon emerged that the singer was suffering from throat cancer.
Cancer Research UK explains that throat cancers can affect two main areas, that doctors will refer to as the pharynx [the medical term for the throat] or the head and neck.

There are three main parts of the pharynx, which can all develop cancer cells include:

  1. Nasopharynx, which connects the back of the nose to the back of the mouth
  2. Oropharynx, which is at the back of the mouth and contains the soft palate, base of the tongue and back wall of the throat (posterior pharyngeal wall)
  3. Hypopharynx which connects the oropharynx and nasopharynx to the start of the food pipe (oesophagus) and the windpipe (trachea) via the voice box (larynx).

Symptoms of throat cancer are often similar to symptoms of other much less serious conditions, which can make it difficult for individuals to realise they have the condition.

Therefore, Cancer Research UK advise that individuals who suffer with any of the following for a prolonged period of time should go and see their GP:

  • Ear pain
  • A sore throat
  • A lump in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Change in your voice or speech
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • A feeling of something stuck in the throat.

Addressing the rumours about her own battle with suspected throat cancer, Janet again took to social media to put an end to the speculation.

She tweeted: “Remember… believe it when you hear it from my lips. The rumours are untrue. I do not have cancer. I’m recovering.

“My doctors have approved my concerts as scheduled in Europe, and as I promised, the postponed shows will be rescheduled. Thank you for your prayers and love.”

Although still keeping the more in depth details about her surgery hidden, the star’s reassurance that her tour will be back and that she is “recovering” was enough to put the rumours to bed.

Despite Janet not suffering from throat cancer herself, between 2016 and 2018 there were on average 12,422 new cases of head and neck cancer in the UK.

On the other hand however, survival rates from this group of cancers stands at 19 to 59 percent, with most individuals living for over 10 years or more after diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment options are based on various factors and are different for every individual. These factors include location, stage of cancer, type of cells involved and whether the cells show signs of HPV infection.

However, typical treatments for throat cancer include radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy and targeted cancer medicines.

There are multiple factors that can increase the risk of throat cancer, some which can be controlled, and others which cannot. Risk factors can include:

  • Tobacco use, including smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Viral infections, including human papillomavirus (HPV) and Epstein-Barr virus
  • A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Exposure to toxic substances at work
  • Age
  • Gender.

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