By Sara Bondell
Rocker Eddie Money has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.
The 70-year-old revealed his stage 4 diagnosis in clip from an upcoming episode of his reality show Real Money. “I thought I was just going in to get a check-up and [the doctor] told me that I got cancer,” he said in the video.
Money’s wife also noted the cancer had spread to his liver.
“In stage 4 disease, an individual would undergo systematic treatment, which includes chemotherapy, targeted treatments or immunotherapy in selected patients,” Dr. Rutika Mehta, a medical oncologist in Moffitt Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program.
If caught early, esophageal cancer could be treated with endoscopic procedures or chemoradiation followed by surgery.
Money says his diagnosis hit him really hard. “I want to be honest with everybody,” he said. “I want people to know that cancer’s come a long way and not everyone dies from cancer like they did in the ’50s and ‘60s. Am I going to live a long time? Who knows. It’s in God’s hands. But you know what, I will take every day I can get. Every day above ground is a good day.”
Mehta says signs of the disease include difficulty swallowing, weight loss and upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Risk factors include acid reflux, hiatal hernia, smoking, alcohol and obesity. Because esophageal cancer isn’t extremely common, Mehta encourages patients to get opinions at a comprehensive cancer center and look for clinical trial options.
The six remaining episodes of Real Money will focus on Money’s cancer and the effect it has on his family.