This past week, two high-profile individuals announced they had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, 60, announced that he has stage II pancreatic cancer, and legendary rapper and founding member of The Geto Boys, Bushwick Bill, 52, announced that has been diagnosed with stage IV.
In Sorenson’s case, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, the cancer was caught early on.
“The cancer…does not appear to have spread and the medical team – and I – are confident that we can realistically aim for a complete cure,” Sorenson said in the company’s press release.
Going public about his diagnosis was a decision he came to recently, he said.
“I figured keeping it to myself is not really helping anybody.”
Risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include family history of the disease, age, chronic or hereditary pancreatitis, smoking, obesity and long-standing diabetes. These and other risk factors are still being investigated.
Pancreatic cancer may cause only vague symptoms that could indicate many different conditions within the abdomen or gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms may consist of:
- pain (usually abdominal or mid-back pain)
- weight loss
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- loss of appetite
- changes in stool
- recent-onset diabetes
Sorenson and Bushwick Bill join a growing list of notable public figures affected by the world’s toughest cancer. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) sends well wishes to both Arne Sorenson and Bushwick Bill and their loved ones during this difficult time.