Ronnie Wood Making Music Again After Beating Cancer, Again
- Ronnie Wood was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma during the pandemic, just three years after he battled lung cancer.
- He is now back to recording with The Rolling Stones as well as one of his earlier bands Faces, whose members include Rod Stewart and The Who’s Kenney Jones.
- New guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Tasks Force (USPST) specify that adults ages 50 to 80 who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years should be screened for lung cancer.
Ronnie Wood, 74, is bouncing back from his second battle with lung cancer in a big way, recording new music not only with The Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger but also his first band, Faces.Read More
And that’s good news for fans, because Wood’s about to release new music.
“Me and Mick [Jagger] have done nine new tracks for the re-release of Tattoo You,” Wood said. “And me, Rod [Stewart] and Kenney [Jones] have been recording some new Faces music.”
View this post on Instagram
This will no doubt be thrilling news to Faces fans, who have been waiting almost 50 years for new music. The band fell part after Wood departed to join The Rolling Stones, taking the place of Mick Taylor who in turn had taken the place of original band member Brian Jones. Stewart, of course, went on to have a massive solo career while Jones joined The Who, replacing Keith Moon.
Wood personified the rock-and-roll lifestyle for the final four decades of the twentieth century. He smoked up to 50 cigarettes a day for 50 years before quitting in 2016, and he has been to rehab at least seven times in his ongoing battle with alcoholism.
That lifestyle came crashing down in 2017 when he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
He refused chemotherapy or radiation out of fear he might lose his hair, and instead had a section of his lung removed. He was prepared for the worst at the time, but after a six-hour surgery doctors declared him cancer free.
“[My doctors told me], ‘Your lungs now are like you’d never smoked’ and I went, ‘How is that for a get out of jail free card?’” Woods noted in the 2019 documentary Someone Up There Likes Me.
View this post on Instagram
He had started painting and knitting to take up the time when his lung cancer returned last year in the form of small-cell carcinoma. Wood shared that news with The Sun in June, saying he battled and beat the disease while in lockdown.
Small-cell carcinoma often develops in smokers and is often fatal, as the body becomes ravaged by tumors while the disease quickly goes to work metastasizing throughout the body
Woods was able to avoid that fate, however, and the father of six – who has 5-year-old twins and a 44-year-old son – is now in the clear and returning to his music.
Lung Cancer Screening
More men and women die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined, but how can screenings make a difference? Lung cancer usually affects people above the age of 65, but a small number of people are diagnosed younger than 45 years old.
Many lung cancers are found accidentally, but screening can help doctors diagnose lung cancers at earlier stages of the disease when successful treatment is more likely. Early-stage lung cancers that are removed with surgery may even be curable. But more often than not, lung cancer diagnoses come after the disease has already spread to other parts of the body making it more difficult to treat.
“In about 70 to 80 percent of patients who are diagnosed with lung cancer, unfortunately the cancer has spread outside of the lung and is not suitable for surgery,” Dr. Forde tells SurvivorNet.
But screening methods such as the low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan can save lives – if those who are at risk participate. This test uses a very small amount of radiation to create highly detailed pictures of your lungs to reveal cancer long before initial symptoms. The State of Lung Cancer 2020 report from the American Lung Association found that screening every currently eligible person would save close to 48,000 lives, but only about 6 percent of Americans who are at high risk are actually getting screened.
“The concern is perhaps patients who are on Medicaid or don’t have insurance will not be referred for appropriate screening,” Dr. Forde says. “I think it behooves us all to try and increase the uptake of CT screening in particular, given that it’s been shown to reduce lung cancer mortality.”
So, Who Should Get Screened?
You should talk to your doctor about getting a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) or chest x-ray if you are at high risk or if you experience a cough that doesn’t go away, a cough that produces bloody mucus or if you experience chest pain or trouble swallowing or breathing.
Nearly 20 percent of people who die from lung cancer in the United States each year have never smoked or used any other form of tobacco, but smoking is a huge risk factor for the disease since the tobacco in cigarettes is a carcinogen that causes mutations in lung cells and enables the growth of cancer. If you quit smoking, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing the disease, but you don’t go all the way down to the level of a non-smoker.
In March 2021, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPST) introduced new guidelines which dropped the age of eligibility for lung cancer screening and the number of “pack years,” or number of years a person smoked an average of one pack of cigarettes a day. The new guidelines specify that adults ages 50 to 80 who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years should be screened. So if someone smoked one pack of cigarettes per day for 20 years, their “pack history” would be 20 years, and they should be screened. But if someone smoked two packs a day for 10 years, they would also have a 20 year “pack history.”
The USPSTF says that expanding screening eligibility will be “especially helpful” to Black people and women and will increase screening access. Data shows that both groups tend to smoke fewer cigarettes than white men. Data also shows that Black people have a higher risk of lung cancer than white people.