Beyonce has sent out a special message to her backup singer, Tiffany Monique, who has been fighting esophageal cancer since the beginning of 2015.
“We love you Tiffany. Wishing you a speedy recovery,” reads the statement on Beyonce’s website, a powerful reminder that anyone, anywhere can develop this condition.
Monique joined Beyonce’s team in 2007, and according to the backup singer’s Facebook page, she was planning on releasing her first solo album in the near future. Plans for that debut have been sidelined, however, while the singer endures the harsh treatments and therapies that accompany a cancer diagnosis.
“After over a year of ignoring signs, added complications landed me into the gastroenterologists office. An endoscopy that he performed (looking for the gallbladder) revealed that I had a tumor in my esophagus, she explains on her website.
In January 2015, after more ultrasounds, CT Scans, PET/CT scans and oscopies than I could count as well as months of consulting with a collection of over 20 physicians including gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, medical and surgical oncologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, pulmonologists and naturopaths, I was diagnosed with early-stage esophageal cancer.
Esophageal cancer is more common in men than women, according to the American Cancer Society, and the condition claims the lives of approximately 15,000 people annually.
Understanding Esophageal Cancer
Though there are no definitive causes of esophageal cancer, people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at an increase risk, as are those who are overweight, smoke, or drink alcohol.
Thankfully, Monique’s cancer was caught in the early stages where statistics indicate survival is best.
“I am fortunate to live near a world renowned cancer treatment center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City,” the singer wrote.
“I am in good hands with the doctors there and soon will be undergoing surgery to remove the tumor and affected lymph nodes. I thank GOD that this was found earlier rather than later. Though I will require follow-ups for the remainder of my life to ensure that the tumor has not spread nor returned, I can expect to live a long, healthier and full like following the surgery and subsequent recovery/treatment. I am more committed to eating and living healthy and holistically than I’ve ever been.”