Sad news to report. Bushwick Bill Of The Geto Boys has been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. The Geto Boys is most known for the hip-hop classic song, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.”
Bushwick Bill, whose real name is Richard Stephen Shaw, told TMZ that doctors said, “‘We see a mass on your pancreas and we can’t understand because it’s not alcohol, it’s not sugar, it’s not diabetes — they went through all kind of stuff. Finally, by February they said it was stage four pancreatic cancer.”
He continued, “And I’m like, ‘Stage 4? I’ve been getting tested and they said it was just a mass but it was benign. And I’m like, ‘Does benign mean it could be cancer?’ And they were like, ‘It’s just a mass with no purpose.’ So it was crazy to find out that pancreatic cancer is undetected until it’s in the fourth or fifth state.”
The 52-year-old also said he doesn’t fear death, “It’s not like I’m afraid of dying. I know what it’s like on the other side. That’s not what it’s really about. It’s about life and loving life. I just want people to be aware so that when they set dreams or goals, they’re healthy enough to fulfill and live.”
We are definitely sending our thoughts to the rapper.
Pancreatic cancer long targeted Black people, but even more vexing was the fact that so little is known about it, including what causes it. The statistics for pancreatic cancer victims along racial lines are damning, with a lopsided number of Black people being diagnosed with the ailment. Scientists haven’t determined what causes pancreatic cancer, and treatment options are limited, according to the American Cancer Society. However, there were several risk factors that physicians have concluded were linked to pancreatic cancer, including tobacco use and being overweight or obese.
However, cancer has been proven to be more deadly for Black people, with that fact being resoundingly true for pancreatic cancer patients, statistics have shown since around 1970, when pancreatic cancer trends began reversing themselves along racial lines.
“In white men, pancreatic cancer death rates decreased by 0.7% per year from 1970 to 1995 and then increased by 0.4% per year through 2009,” according to research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. “In contrast, the rates among blacks increased between 1970 and the late 1980s (women) or early 1990s (men).”
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine took it a step further and found through clinical research that the “incidence of pancreatic cancer is 50 – 90% higher in African Americans than in any other racial group in the United States. Not only is pancreatic cancer more common among African Americans, but African Americans also have the poorest prognosis of any racial group because they often are diagnosed with advanced, and therefore, inoperable cancer.”
We are wishing Bushwick Bill a speedy recovery.