Cancer Survivor Tina Turner Sings, Dances Around Living Room ‘Reliving Her Proudest Moments’ from Upcoming ‘TINA’ Documentary

"This is the only way to tell my story," Turner wrote on Instagram.

Published Mar 23, 2021

Marisa Sullivan

Her Own Hero

  • Legendary singer and intestinal cancer survivor Tina Turner cannot contain her excitement about her new documentary TINA, and the star took to Instagram to express the pure joy she has been feeling while dancing and singing around her living room to some of the film’s concert footage.
  • Turner is a hero for cancer survivors and domestic abuse survivors (she had a notoriously brutal relationship with ex-husband and music partner, the late Ike Turner) and she will finally be telling her entire life story.
  • While it is not proven that stress causes cancer, a leading expert tells SurvivorNet how they are connected, and says that patients do better overall with less stress in their lives.

Superstar Tina Turner, 81, simply cannot contain her excitement about her new documentary, TINA, which will be released  Saturday.

The proud intestinal cancer survivor posted a picture of herself in her living room in front of a giant TV screen with her hands up in a fighting stance, and expressed that she’s been getting pumped up watching footage from the film ahead of this weekend.

“This Saturday, the documentary ‘TINA’ will be released. I am so excited to share this movie with you – seeing the concert scenes made me relive some of the proudest moments of my life,” Turner wrote. “I simply had to sing along and dance around my living room!” The movie debuts on HBO and HBO Max at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.

Related: PHOTOS—Celebrity Cancer Survivors

Turner is known as the ultimate fighter, having survived cancer and a devastating earlier life of domestic abuse with the late Ike Turner, her former husband and music partner. To picture the energetic rock star getting inspired by her younger self, just as many fans have along the way, jamming around her living room is enough to put a huge smile on your face.

Related: Tina Turner Releases ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’ Remix — Rock Legend Thriving After Intestinal Cancer

The 1993 What’s Love Got to Do with It autobiographical film, which starred Angela Bassett, had some inaccuracies, as it was loosely based on Turner’s life and partly fictionalized, and now Turner gets to tell her whole story and truth in her own film.

“This is the only way to tell my story,” she wrote on Instagram. “A never before seen look into my life.”



In the TINA trailer, Turner expresses that she’s going to taking a hiatus from show business, but for now she’s enjoying the spotlight. She was nominated for a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction last month, and she just announced that her most recent book has gained some fresh accolades.

Related: Intestinal Cancer Survivor Tina Turner Has Been Nominated for the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

“‘Happiness’ in the heart of New York City!” She captioned today’s Instagram post next to a photo of her book splashed over a billboard in the Big Apple. “My new book “Happiness Becomes You“ was chosen as an Editors‘ Pick by @amazonbooks for #WomensHistoryMonth2021 I’m thrilled to be included in this celebration of women’s voices.”




Surviving Intestinal Cancer

In 2018, Turner announced that she had beaten intestinal cancer (she discovered the rare disease early and had part of her intestine removed), and that she also had a successful kidney transplant. Her husband, Erwin Bach, whom she first met in 1986 and is 15 years younger than Turner, gave his wife one of his kidneys after she suffered from kidney disease.

Related: Tina Turner, 81, Says Faith Helped Her Overcome Abuse, Intestinal Cancer, & Stroke: ‘There’s Great Value In Never Giving Up’

The Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good author shared how dealing with illness has reminded her to seize the day. “Over the years I have summoned up my inner lion and overcome each health problem,” Turner wrote in the book. “Illness has given me a greater appreciation for health and reminds me to live each day to its fullest.” The icon also suffered from a stroke in 2013 right after her second marriage, and heartbreak from losing her son Craig to suicide.

“The stroke had delivered a powerful blow to my body… I would have to work with a physiotherapist to learn how to walk again,” Turner told Oprah Winfrey in 2018, which was the same year that her son took his life at 59. “I’m still trying to find out why he did it. Maybe something from his childhood followed him through life and was still weighing on him, and he just couldn’t handle it anymore. I don’t know.”

Stress and Cancer

Many people believe that stress causes cancer, which isn’t exactly true from what doctors have found. But there is a correlation.

“There is no doubt that stress and your immune system affect your body and affect your body’s chance of healing,” Dr. Heather Yeo tells SurvivorNet. “Many patients are very anxious and worried that they cause their own cancer through stress or anxiety. I always tell patients, you can’t look in the past and you certainly can’t blame yourself.”

Related: Stress and Anxiety for Cancer Patients During COVID-19

Although many top experts including Dr. Yeo do not think that there is a direct correlation between stress and cancer. “That being said, stress certainly decreases your immune system and it may decrease your body’s ability to fight certain cancers.”

When there is an excess of stress hormones going on, “your body has a hard time recovering and cancer takes advantage of that.”

Patients Do Better When They are Less Stressed

Music’s Healing Power

One universal stress reliever? Music and dancing tend to top the charts in the de-stressing category, and many cancer survivors report that music helped them get through dark times in a huge way.

“I have found music and rock ‘n’ roll to be transformational,” pancreatic cancer survivor Joel Naftelberg tells SurvivorNet. “Doesn’t necessarily solve anything, but it does let us dance on our problems for at least an hour or two. Nothing better on a Friday afternoon than to hang with your friends and listen to beautiful music.”

Another cancer survivor credits music to saving her spirit. “Without air guitar, my treatment would have been incredibly sad,” music-enthusiast Marquina Iliev-Piselli tells SurvivorNet. “Before cancer, air guitar was just a way to express myself. I had a three-year-old when I was diagnosed with cancer. And it was basically a way for me to still dip into my old goofy self. Post-cancer, air guitar became a group of people that I could really lean on.”

Music and Art – Reflecting On Your Cancer Journey


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