Remembering Guru Of GangStarr: A Lesson In Cancer

Guru, the Boston-born MC, real name Keith Elam, was hospitalized in January 2010 after he suffered a heart attack and had been in a coma. On February 28, 2010, Guru went into cardiac arrest and, following surgery, fell into a coma. It was claimed that Guru had briefly awakened from his coma but died on April 19, 2010, at the age of 48, from cancer.

Guru rose to fame in the 80s as one half of Gang Starr, the conscious rap group he founded with Grammy award-winning producer DJ Premier. Gang Starr was also credited with the birth of the Hip-Hop/Jazz genre. About.com placed him on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time, while The Source ranked him #30 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time, saying “Guru dropped some of the most thoughtful rhymes on wax.”

A statement issued by his friend and producer Solar said: “Guru has passed away after a long battle with cancer.”

“Guru suffered from the malicious illness for over a year and after numerous special treatments under the supervision of medical specialists failed, the legendary MC succumbed to the disease.”

Cancer is among the three most common causes of death in adult males in the U.S. While a healthy diet can lower the risk of developing certain cancers, other factors like genes can play a larger role. Once cancer spreads, it can be difficult to treat.

Knowing early symptoms can help you seek treatment sooner to better your chances of remission. Early symptoms of cancer in men include:

– bowel changes
– rectal bleeding
– urinary changes
– blood in urine
– persistent back pain
– unusual coughing
– testicular lumps
– excessive fatigue
– unexplained weight loss
– lumps in breast

One in 10 patients who come to the hospital with the most severe type of heart attack have a history of cancer. Just like in Guru’s case. Although they are separate conditions, they do often interact with each other.

Gang Starr released six highly regarded albums in their time together until 2003 until their acrimonious split.