Nile Rodgers health: Unlucky star ‘invaded’ twice by cancer – what happened?

Prostate cancer: Dr Philippa Kaye discusses symptoms

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The co-founder of Chic has had a legendary career. At one point worked with David Bowie on his album Let’s Bounce. He has also worked with Madonna on Like A Virgin. But the royal party might make it to the top the list as one of his most important events. Not everyone knows the 69-year-old was faced with two harsh cancer battles, the first of which had him serious thinking about death.

The star was first introduced to the disease in 2010 when he was diagnosed with “aggressive” prostate cancer – a condition that affects roughly one in eight men, according to Prostate Cancer UK.

It is a slow-growing cancer that grows in the walnut-sized gland that typically strikes over 50s.

Around the time, the star spoke to HardTalk about the ordeal. He said he “hadn’t felt quite right” when doctors spotted his high PSA, prostate-specific antigen, levels.

PSA levels in the blood are used to measure the health of the prostate and a high PSA can indicate damage to the gland.

To test for the disease he was given multiple “horrible” biopsies to test for cancer that used a “sophisticated fishing hook that pulls away flesh from the prostate organ”, he said.

Doctors were surprised by the fact he hadn’t gotten any “real” symptoms when they found aggressive cancer.

Cancer Research UK explains that prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause symptoms in the early stages. But as the condition grows and is so large as to pressure the urethra – the tube taking urine from the bladder to the penis – it may cause symptoms, such as difficulty passing urine.

In the end, he had a radical prostatectomy procedure to remove the gland and cure the cancer. These surgeries normally leave people with severe side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence.

He received the all-clear three years later.

But his freedom from cancer was short-lived as just four years later he was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

“I would have never believed that my body would be invaded by another cancer,” Rodgers wrote on his Planet C blog.

The Chic star said doctors had found a “mysterious growth” in his right kidney that was actually “two different cancers within one mass”.

Symptoms of the condition can be misleading as they are similar to other kidney conditions like urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney stones, explains the NHS.

They include noticing blood in your pee, persistent pain in your lower back or side, a lump or swelling in your side, extreme tiredness, and a high temperature.

The NHS states several other symptoms:

  • night sweats
  • in men, swelling of the veins in the testicles
  • swollen glands in your neck
  • bone pain
  • coughing up blood
  • extreme tiredness
  • loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss
  • persistent high blood pressure (hypertension).

Despite his second bout of cancer, which was cured surgically, the star remained positive.

On his blog, he said he had “attacked life with gusto” and “worked at an insane level” after his cancer battles.

Since the ordeal, his career has shown no signs of stopping.

As well as being invited to the Platinum Party at the Palace, the star has also continued collaborating on albums such as a new studio album with the German artist Roosevelt.

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