May 14, 2009

Fawcett's cancer battle brings attention to rare illness

Posted: 08:35 PM ET

(CNN) - The news that one of America's TV icons is suffering from cancer brought sadness. Learning the type of cancer she had made some squeamish.

Farrah Fawcett, shown here in 2004, learned she had cancer in 2006.

Farrah Fawcett, shown here in 2004, learned she had cancer in 2006.

Former "Charlie's Angels" actress Farrah Fawcett, 62, was hospitalized this week. She received a diagnosis of anal cancer in 2006.

This type of cancer is less common than rectal and colon cancer, and the location of the tumor and risk factors make people squeamish about discussing it openly, doctors said.

Colon cancer at one time also was not openly talked about, because of the body part and functions affected, but with the public awareness campaigns and celebrities advocating for screenings, it has been largely destigmatized. Anal cancer is less familiar.

Fawcett has not publicly confirmed the specifics of her illness, but is working on a documentary, titled "A Wing and a Prayer," about her health battle.

Anal cancer affects more women and the illness is usually found in people who are in their early 60's. The American Cancer Society estimates that 5,000 new cases of anal cancer are diagnosed each year and about 680 people die from it annually. Meanwhile, colorectal cancer has 148,000 new cases and about 50,000 deaths each year.

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Filed under: Hollywood • Larry King Live

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Pat Bruemmer   May 14th, 2009 8:54 pm ET

Farrah is a brave, courageous, beautiful woman. Many celebrities would have gone into hiding and denied any illness. Farrah – Don't ever give up - keep fighting!!!!

Lisa   May 14th, 2009 9:04 pm ET

I am so, so sad for Farrah, Ryan, and their family...God Bless you all

BoPeep   May 14th, 2009 9:05 pm ET

All I wanted for Christmas in 1978, was a Farrah Fawcett doll head so I could do her hair, and I got it. I grew up loving Charlies Angels, The Burning Bed, and all of her other great works. Our thoughts and prayers are with her at this very difficult time.

Kelly   May 14th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

Candy is the last person to say anything accurate. I pray Farah is okay with her comments.


Jan   May 14th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

People are talking like Farrah is already dead... it makes me so mad. Its in Gods hands, she may pass tomorrow or a year from now. As long as there is life there is hope, so I wish people wouldn't act like shes already gone. God bless you Farrah.

Mike   May 14th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

Larry, being a cancer surviver myself i pay attention to any news about cancer that I can. The other day I heard something about a flu vac. that stops cancer from growning. Have you heard of it?

Mike   May 14th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Please send Farrah my best wishes.

Gerry   May 14th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

Could larry ask if Farrah has hospice care at home at this t ime
thank syou

Sandy Pepler   May 14th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

She was making the movie Small Sacrifices a block from where we lived in Edmonton Alberta ,and when she saw my young children David and Dana she invited them to go into her trailer and watch the movie Ghost Busters with her son Redmond and although they were young they remember it, and the fun they had to this day, with very fond memories, as do I....I wish and pray that Farrah Ryan and Redmond find peace and love in this very difficult time in thier lives

Greg   May 14th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

We will never forgrt you. You are in our prays.

Randy   May 14th, 2009 9:28 pm ET


bob sama   May 14th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Farrah: an icon who makes us proud...bob

cheryl   May 14th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

I am so pleased that this tribute to Farrah is airing while she is still around to see it.

E M S   May 14th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

Farrah had the courage to take the role of an abused wife in The Burning Bed in 1984. It aired on my wedding anniversary, while I was in an violent relationship. That show helped me get the strength to leave. I am sure her compassion and understanding saved many other lives.

Joseph   May 14th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

She is a survivor and she will always live!

Patricia   May 14th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Texas loves and stands with you Farrah. God bless.

lorrie   May 14th, 2009 9:34 pm ET


I just want you to know from the little I have heard you say
this week, YOU have made a forever profound change in my attitude and
life. I hope you get this message personally.
My deepest desire is to live. I will always remember these words and
how stress is so important.
I am a business woman, single mom with a teen I have been so hard
on lately and she is so good. It is menopause and litigation with the
dad. You have made me make peace with everyone and smell the
roses . I wake up and go to sleep now hearing you say the deepest desire
is to live. You are so beautiful to share WHO you are and what you
are going through. I hope I am making sense. I WANT you to know,
and i have not seen your video yet, YOU HAVE MADE me think, think, think
and be grateful again. You are awesome and thank you for making this
film. I am not a "fan" of any hollywood person, but you are a PERSON
and I thank you for your honesty and sharing!!!!!!! Keep smiling

berdie   May 14th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

dear not be afraid.know always that you are loved

peter   May 14th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

You are a great actress and an even greater person. My prayers are with you and my sincere hope for your complete recovery.

Thank you

Adrienne Hirschfeld   May 14th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

I was lucky enough to meet Farrah at Mr. Chow's Restaurant in Beverly Hills in May, 2005. and I told her "There will never be another YOU." Nobody was more awesome than Farrah.

Robin   May 14th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

May the Lord protect you. God Bless you.

Dorothy   May 14th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Farrah's very public battle with this form of cancer is bound to help someone and that is a good thing. I hope she wins this latest go-round; in the meantime, I pray that she will be pain-free. Rest assured, Farrah, that the prayers of many are on their way to the Man upstairs on your behalf. From our lips to God's ears.

Andres   May 14th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

My prayers are with you Farrah! I admire your strenght.

Dawn   May 14th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

As a child growing up in the 70s, Farrah belonged to all of us. She was our beauty. Farrah was on the minds and walls of every 16 year old boy in america and every 16 year old girl wished they looked like her. My heart goes out to Farrah. May she be the most beautiful angel in heaven.

GRAM IN LASVEGAS   May 14th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

My prayers are with you Farrah

Judith Mendes Da Costa   May 14th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

God bless you Farrah, thank you for being in my world.....I have always been envious of your beautiful looks and hair. I was raised on Charlies Angels and always wanted to be like you!!!!

Lynn Zeanah   May 14th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Re: Farrah Faucett and the posibility now or later of Hospice, Hospice also has policy of No Extreme Measures.

sarah bonneau   May 14th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Dear Farrah,

Back in 1977 I worked at Burger King in Van Nuys and you would come through my drive thru window a couple of times a month. You stopped everyone in their tracks and you couldn't have been nicer. I have you in my prayers, for if miracles can happen then I am wishing one for you. Thank you for sharing your journey.


patricia ann davalos   May 14th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

dear farrah, we met many years ago when i was about to lose my dad to cancer. i think we may have met before that in a class. my friend, i have been sad since i have heard from ryan about your turn for the worst. You have been and continue to be the best inspiration,

Gardner   May 14th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

History always seems to repeat itself. That said, I believe this country is following in the footsteps of ancient Rome! We are going down the same path of immorality and self destruction!

Judith   May 14th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

Thank you for being in our world. Like millions I grew up on Farrah and Charlie's were "Charlie's Angel still are an angel. God Bless you and my prayers are with you.

RockyRacoon   May 14th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

God Bless you Farrah Fawcet, great work on the movie thank you for sacrificing your time and privacy during this very private and painful time in your life. All the Best to you to Ryan, stay strong and keep your head up!
a freind of Bill W.

mr green   May 14th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

if she moved to California and got a medical card because hemp oil is legal in California she could probably heal here cancer

Barbara Thibodeaux   May 14th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

Dear Larry:

I watched your program tonight as you and the guest spoke about Farrah and her battle with cancer:

I was able to meet and spend a few days with Farrah as she filmed the Apostle with Robert Duvall in Louisiana, Mr. Duvall had come to our city and asked me to be in a small part in the movie, I was so blessed to be asked to do this, while he was getting ready to film, he asked if I would spend time with Farrrah and share with her what life was like for me as a Christian, I thank God he gave me the time I had
with her I was able to share things that I know today she has deep within her soul, she is praying for a miracle and I pray that somehow this message is able to reach her, because I know that she would remember the times we spoke about God and how wonderful life can be with his peace and presence >
After filming was complete she called me before she went back to Los Angeles to thank me for sharing my story about how much prayer can change a life and I know today that I will alwalys have those precious moments of spending time with her she is an awesome women. and I am praying for her and her family:
and I pray that somehow this message could make it's way to her to let her know the young lady she spent time with in Lafayette Louisana during the filming has never forgotten how blessed she was to know her.

Thanks Barbara Thibodeaux

Janeysbaby   May 14th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

May your journey ahead be as successful as the one you've already lived. Be not afraid.

mr green   May 14th, 2009 10:25 pm ET

god bless you for posting mine
there is a free movie online about the hemp oil in Canada
called run from the cure

Mike   May 14th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

Please check into the vacc. I think I heard it on wgn channel 9 from chicago, in their medical sector.

Cindy   May 14th, 2009 10:56 pm ET

Dear Farrah,
I know you will not remember me, but many years ago we met. It was when you were married to Lee Majors. My uncle and aunt Hatfield picked You and Lee up from the Knoxville airport and you came to my house and had breakfast. You both were on your way to Lee's parents house in Kentucky for Christmas. I want you to know what a great influence you were to a shy 12 year old girl. I will never forget how absolutely gorgeous you were. You were truly a natural beauty. You were so sweet and kind. You gave me yourself to look up to, someone to try and be like. Not for the beauty you are but for the inner beauty you have always had. I speak for David, Joyce, Tammy and myself, our prayers are with you.

All my love, Cindy

LadyJustice   May 15th, 2009 12:13 am ET

Thank you Farrah. For the courage you display and the dignity in which you choose to fight until your very last breath.

Last week I found out that my father and uncle both have terminal cancer. My father has been given a month to live. I have lost more family members to cancer than to any other disease.It is insidious. It does not discriminate. It takes whoever,whenever and however it wants and chooses to.

As I am dealing with this disease in a very real way already, I wasn't sure that I had the strength to watch Farrah's Story. But than I realized that if she had the strength,courage and dignity to make it....than the very least I could do is have the respect to honor her memory in every way possible.

My heart and prayers go out to her,her family,friends and loved ones and to ALL who are battling this horrible disease.

Just as drugs are the devil's candy, cancer is his poison.

John, San Antonio, TX   May 15th, 2009 12:20 am ET

I saw Farrah and Ryan on TV last night but I do not recall what channel it was. They were interviewing both Farrah and Ryan about her struggle with Cancer. They showed her in different stages and in the end she was in a hospital bed in the fetal position. It was difficult to tell if she was still aware but Ryan was crying and said he almost wishes God would take her to a better place as she no longer has a real life. I know one blogger here commented about everyone speaking about her as if she were already dead and I underestand that point but after seeing her like she was last night, I have to believe she won't be able to fight much longer. Watching Ryan in tears last night brought me to tears also.

Farrah Fawcett – one of the most beautiful women I know of; a beautiful person also. I wish I hadn't seen her last night as I would much more like to remember her the way she was. God Bless her and Ryan and I hope she knows how much she is loved.

Woody McBreairty   May 15th, 2009 12:22 am ET

I find it ironic that someone would want to put a life situation on tv that is so personal and intimate. I noticed that even while she was hugging her son and giving him a kiss, she to eye the camera and make sure it was on them. These are treasured personal times and moments for most people, very dear to those closest to them. I understand she has been complaining about privacy but still she chooses to make an exhibition of her last days publicly. I just don't get it....But God Bless Her and I wish she could be well again.....

Robin   May 15th, 2009 12:30 am ET

My childhood idol then... my adult idol now.. God Bless

Rhonda   May 15th, 2009 12:32 am ET

God Bless Farrah, Ryan and Redmond through this time.

Debbie $$   May 15th, 2009 12:36 am ET

Farrah – God bless you. You will be well here or in heaven. He knows what is best for you and you have been a blessing to many. Pray the prayer and put your spirit in God's hands.

Treasa Ni Maolchallainn   May 15th, 2009 2:19 am ET


Excuse me but did I miss something? What were you thinking in having these women on your show tonight? They clearly have no contact with Farrah, and yet you went to great lengths to try and extract irrelevant information from same, trying in vain to bring some relevance to Farrah's current condition.

Tonight your show came across as desperately trying to grab at ratings and yet in doing so failed miserably.

Farrah deserves the upmost respect in her struggle with this disease and as I wife and mother who has lived through the 'gut wrenching' affects of cancer, I am very disappointed that you choose to have two women on your show who have no relevance to her or her family.

Shame on your Larry, I'm a big fan, but this show quite frankly made me sick to my core. Now, can you get back to doing what you do best – no BS!


Emmanuel   May 15th, 2009 5:40 am ET

Dear Farrah.... I believe that if you want help or miracle you will get it instantly. If you know that God can help you.

My advice is that you visit Nigeria (God's Branch Office on Planet Earth)
Visit Synagogue Church of all Nations or Christ Embassy, and get your healling....

But you must promise God that you will be faithful and serve him alone and receive Jesus as your Lord.

God Bless You.

Dr Daniel Nkemzi   May 15th, 2009 5:48 am ET

It is unnecessary for Ms Fawcett to die of cancer. I believe Jesus wants to heal her. Unfortunately I don't have her contact information. If anyone can send her the following link then she will surely live. Help her (even if you yourself do not believe

karen   May 15th, 2009 5:50 am ET

God bless you and your family . My prayers are with you.
You have always been our ANGEL.

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