Bad Big C

Brassy blues diva Candye Kane has been diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine tumor, a form of pancreatic cancer. On February 22, Kane was admitted to the Scripps Encinitas emergency room with abdominal pain. The symptoms had been recurring a few times a year and had sidelined Kane several times. Over the past few years, hospital visits were added to tour dates in Belgium, Holland, Nebraska, Indiana, and New Jersey. A tour of Germany was canceled in 2004.

“The good news is that [these] tumors are not as aggressive or deadly as [standard] pancreatic cancer,” Kane said in an email to friends and family.

“Usually [doctors] have diagnosed the pain as acid reflux,” Kane stated. “I personally thought the pain was gallstones. On this ER trip, they gave me a CAT scan and found a 3.4 cm tumor on my pancreatic head.” Complications from a biopsy landed Kane back in the hospital on March 10, but she is now recovering at home.

Surgery is scheduled at UCSD’s Cancer Center in early May. In the meantime, Kane is going ahead with plans for a March 26—May 3 European tour.

“I am going because [my doctor] says they can’t operate on me now anyway because I still have pancreatitis, which was caused by my biopsy.” Tour dates are booked through November, but an East Coast tour set to start May 7 has been canceled.

A series of benefit concerts is planned, with a show set for May 5 at Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge, headlined by Sue Palmer, a former pianist in Kane’s band. Additional fund-raisers will be held in Huntington Beach, Tacoma, Pittsburgh, and Austin.

– Bart Mendoza

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