It continues to be a sad week in the music and entertainment industry. Sources confirmed Sunday that British singer Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, passed away at the age of 62 due to complications of colon and liver cancers. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia)
Gibb and his equally famous brothers, Maurice and Barry, formed the famous group. They were known especially for songs like “How Deep is Your Love” and “Stayin’ Alive,” but also wrote lyrics and music for other esteemed musicians including Dianna Ross, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton.
Shortly before his death, Gibb had been working on his seventh solo album, Titanic Requiem, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking. He had been scheduled to appear at a live concert in London, and even commented that preparing for the concert had distracted him from his illness “to such a degree that I truly believed it might have saved my life.”
Unfortunately, Gibb never made it to the concert, and passed away shortly thereafter.
The Cancers that Took Gibb’s Life
Following in the tragic steps of two other Gibb brothers, Maurice and Andy, Robin succumbed to illness at a considerably early age. Originally diagnosed with intestinal issues and eventually colon cancer, the disease gradually spread to his liver as well.
Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Cancer Society, one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, if caught in the early stages, this type of cancer can be highly curable.
The National Library of Medicine reports that you have a high risk of colon cancer, if you:
- Are older than 60
- Are African American of eastern European descent
- Eat a diet high in red or processed meats
- Have cancer elsewhere in the body
- Have colorectal polyps
- Have inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
- Have a family history of colon cancer
- Have a personal history of breast cancer
The organization also reports that smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are other risk factors for colorectal cancer.
The type of liver cancer that Gibb suffered from, is classified as Metastatic liver cancer. This means that tumors that have spread to the liver from somewhere else in the body; in Gibb’s case, from the colon.
The risk of cancer spreading to the liver depends on the site of the original cancer. A liver metastasis may be present when the original cancer is diagnosed, or it may occur months or years after the primary tumor is removed.
The National Institutes of Health lists the cancers that may spread to the liver as the following:
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Adrenal cancer
It’s reported that Gibb was planning to undergo further chemotherapy sessions to address his cancers at the time of his death.
The Legend Lives On
As with the other musical legends we’ve lost over the years, Robin Gibb will be remembered eternally in the music industry. From the iconic movie Saturday Night Fever, to wedding dances everywhere playing “Stayin’ Alive,” the memory of Gibb’s music, and his talent, will live on.
"Liver Metastases." U.S. National Library of Medicine. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia, 10 Dec. 2010. Web. 21 May 2012.
"Colon Cancer." U.S. National Library of Medicine. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia, 7 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 May 2012.
Murphy, Eileen, and Luchina Fisher. "Robin Gibb's Death Latest Family Heartbreak." ABCNews.com. ABC News, 21 May 2012. Web. 21 May 2012.
Collett-White, Mike. "Robin Gibb Dead at 62." TorontoSun.com. Toronto Sun, 20 May 2012. Web. 21 May 2012.
*Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons