Seventies and Eighties rocker Eddie Money says that keeping his cancer a secret would be dishonest, and he wants to be honest with his fans and supporters.
Money rose to fame with hit singles like “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets To Paradise,” before he became a big part of the MTV music video scene in the early eighties. His career stumbled when he became addicted to drugs, and he ultimately entered into 12 step drug rehabilitation. His return to fame came with his 1986 album can’t hold back, particularly with the song “Take Me Home Tonight.” He and is family are now the star of a reality TV series on the AXS TV network called “Real Money.”Read More
“What I don’t want to do is I don’t want to keep the fact that I had cancer from everybody — it’s not honest,” he said in a clip from his reality television series Real Money. “I want to be honest with everybody.”
Part of the reason Money said he wanted to be so open about his illness, was to let people know that there is still hope when you get a cancer diagnosis, “I want people to know that cancer’s come a long way, and not everybody dies from cancer like they did in the fifties and the sixties.”
Money’s cancer journey began when he went in for a routine check-up, “I thought I was just going in to get a check-up and he told me that I got cancer,” he said.
“Eddie’s been diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer,” his wife Laurie. “It’s in his esophagus, at the top of his stomach is where the tumor is, and it’s also spread to his liver.”
Dr. Raja Flores, Chairman of Thoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, previously explained to SurvivorNet that the two biggest causes of esophageal cancer are smoking and acid reflux (heartburn). Over 17,500 people were diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2019, and about 16,000 people died from the disease.
He said that he was really upset and that the news was hard to hear at first, “When we found out that I had cancer, and it was stage four and it was in my liver, and my lymph nodes, and a little bi tin my stomach, I mean it was — it hit me really hard.”
And that he still doesn’t know what’s going to happen, but he feels lucky and grateful for every day, “Am I gonna live a long time? Who knows. It’s in god’s hands. But you know what, I’ll take every day I can get. Every day above ground is a good day.”
Information about esophageal cancer
Most esophageal cancers start in the innermost lining of the esophagus (the epithelium) and then grow into deeper layers over time.
Only 5 percent of all patients with advanced esophageal cancer—meaning cancer that has spread beyond the esophagus to other parts of the body—survive for 5 years.
Historically, patients with advanced esophageal cancer have had limited treatment options, particularly after their disease has progressed. For the advanced stages of esophageal cancer, doctors usually turn to conventional chemotherapy. But this chemo is largely used to relieve pain; historically, it hasn’t been shown to have long-term benefits. Now, some esophageal cancer patients are also being treated with immunotherapy, which used the body’s own immune system to fight the disease.
Esophageal cancer diagnoses are grade on a scale from GX to G3. GX stands for “the grade cannot be assessed.” G1, or Grade 1 means the cancer cells look more like normal esophagus tissue. G3, or Grade 3 means the cancer cells look very abnormal. And G2, or Grade 2 falls somewhere in between G1 and G3. These grades are often abbreviated to “low grade” and “high grade.”
The symptoms of esophageal cancer include:
- Problems swallowing – often there is a feeling like the food is stuck in the throat or chest, or even choking on food. The medical term for this is “dysphagia” and it can often be mild in the beginning, and get worse over time.
- Excess mucus or saliva – This occurs because as the esophagus grows, people begin producing more saliva to help food pass through the esophagus.
- Chest pain – Some people have discomfort in the middle of their chest, or a feeling of pressure or burning in the chest.
- Weight loss – swallowing problems keep people from eating as much food, which makes them lose weight unintentionally. Decreased appetite and increased metabolism from the cancer also contribute.
- Hoarseness, chronic cough, vomiting, hiccups, bone pain, bleeding into the esophagus
There are a number of ways that doctors test for esophageal cancer. They include:
- Imaging tests – Using x-rays and other techniques, doctors can create images of the inside of your body
- Barium swallow – After you swallow a thick substance called barium, doctors take x-rays, and the esophagus will be outlined clearly with the liquid.
- Other scans including CT scan, MRI, PET scan
- Endoscopy – Using an endoscope (a long thin tube) doctors pass a camera into your body, to view and remove parts of the esophagus for biopsy
- Blood test