Omar Henry, 25, Loses “The Fight Of His Life”

Omar Henry in a boxing ringOmar Henry, a professional boxer and Chicago native, succumbed to stage 4 gallbladder cancer at 25 – just one week before his 26th birthday.

Henry, with a record of 12-0-1, had been scheduled to fight on Nov. 16, but pulled out days earlier. He later posted on his Facebook page:

“To all my friends and loyal fans I want to inform you all that I am fighting the fight of my life against a disease known as gallbladder cancer. While l’m in this current state I am fighting with my family by my side and I will not go down for the count. I am a champion who has chosen to fight not just for myself but for those who’s faith is believing in what u cant see, and i will continue to fight till I knock this sickness out. Your love and support mean the most to me, your prayers are prayers not only to me but to others like me. Please be advised l am grateful for any and all support in any kind of way please inbox me. My family has continued to be by my side, and its hard for them as well. I want to thank God for unconditional love and unconditional fans.”

According to friends and family, Henry showed strength through his faith, despite the pain his body felt. After his diagnosis, he continuously showed optimism during interviews, expressing that he would survive the disease. Henry died less than three months after learning that he had gallbladder cancer.

On Friday, February 1, the day of his passing, the following message was posted to his Facebook page :

“To all of Omar’s loyal fans and friends today Omar has made peace with our savior God and joined him in heaven. Thank you all for your prayers and support. And please let’s continue the name Omar Henry because that’s what he would want 2/8/1987-2/1/2013 R.I.P Omar D Henry.”

Henry was born on the South Side and later attended Hersey High School in Arlington Heights. He later moved to Houston.

Blacks With Thyroid Cancer Fare Worse Than Whites

A woman touching her neck as she talks to her doctorBlacks have fewer incidences of thyroid cancer but have a more advanced form of the disease once they receive a diagnosis — and are more likely to die from it.

The mortality rate is probably due to an access to care issues. It has been found that Blacks had a 1 percent higher mortality rate, though thyroid cancer is twice as common among whites.

In a recent study,  Blacks were more likely to have tumors larger than four centimeters, which implies that the tumors sat there and grew a lot longer. The study also found they were more likely to present with anaplastic thyroid cancer, which is a fatal and advanced form of the disease, as opposed to papillary and medullary cancer, which are most common and easily treated.

How is thyroid cancer diagnosed?

Thyroid cancer may be diagnosed after a person goes to a doctor because of symptoms, or it might be found during a routine physical exam or other tests. If there is a reason to suspect you might have thyroid cancer, your doctor will use one or more tests to find out. Signs and symptoms might suggest you have thyroid cancer, but you will need tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer

Prompt attention to signs and symptoms is the best way to diagnose most thyroid cancers early. Thyroid cancer can cause any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • A lump in the neck, sometimes growing quickly
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears
  • Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • A constant cough that is not due to a cold

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, talk to your doctor right away. Many of these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions or even other cancers of the neck area. Thyroid nodules are common and are usually benign. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Medical history and physical exam

If you have any signs or symptoms that suggest you might have thyroid cancer, your health care professional will want to know your complete medical history. You will be asked questions about your possible risk factors, symptoms, and any other health problems or concerns. If someone in your family has had thyroid cancer (especially medullary thyroid cancer) or tumors called pheochromocytomas, it is important to tell your doctor, as you might be at high risk for this disease.

Your doctor will examine you to get more information about possible signs of thyroid cancer and other health problems. During the exam, the doctor will pay special attention to the size and firmness of your thyroid and any enlarged lymph nodes in your neck.