Dion Remembers Her Husband, René
- Singer Céline Dion, 52, lost her husband, René Angélil, four years ago to throat cancer.
- She mentions him in an Instagram post for her twin sons’ 10th birthday
- Throat cancer is more common in men than in women, and a leading cause of this cancer is HPV.
“Nelson and Eddy, you have been bringing so much joy, love and laughter into our lives every single day for the past 10 years. You make me, your big brother and your Dad, who is for sure watching over you, so very proud. Happy birthday my beautiful boys! We love you so very much… – Mom, RC and Dad xx…
René’s Cancer Battle
René was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998, and later went into remission. However, his cancer returned in 2014. Four years after Dion and René got married, he was diagnosed after doctors found a lump on his neck that was malignant. Following the cancer’s recurrence in 2014, René had surgery which removed parts of his tongue.
Throat cancer, says the American Cancer Society (ACS), will be diagnosed in approximately 12,370 in the U.S. this year. Men outpace throat cancer cases by a significant margin, with 9,820 of the new cases in men, and only 2,550 in women.
What Causes Throat Cancer
The majority of throat cancer diagnoses are caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV). Dr. Ted Teknos, a head and neck cancer surgeon, tells SurvivorNet, “What we know now, through science, is going back and looking, decade by decade, the rates of HPV-related head and neck cancer have increased exponentially.”
“If you look at the percentage of patients who developed throat cancer,” says Dr. Teknos, “in the 80s compared to the 2010s, if you will, the rate of HPV-related head and neck cancers has gone up by 300%. HPV causes throat cancer, and it’s a sexually transmitted disease. And it’s something that is an epidemic in the United States.”
Dr. Ted Teknos tells us that HPV has over 120 different strains, but that HPV 16 “has been shown to cause 92% of head and neck cancers related to HPV.”
Moving Forward & Cherishing Memories
Coping with the loss of a spouse to cancer can be devastating. Like Dion shows, it may ease the grieving process to honor the memory of those you’ve lost.
Other people coping with – and moving through – grief find support groups and therapy to be beneficial tools, along with the support of friends, family, and loved ones. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re struggling, so you can make your burden less heavy to bear. Hearing the stories of others who have lost a spouse, like Dion, can also be an inspiration to those going through the same loss.