Lenny Kravitz has shared that Johnny Cash held him when he learned of his mother’s death in 1995. He was so pained that he wrote a song about the moment. It begins as a fairly written love song with Kravitz singing, “I need your love in every way,” before it takes an unexpected turn in the chorus, “Hold me like Johnny Cash / When I lost my mother,” the star sings. “Whisper in my ear / Just like June had to.”
The legendary singer and actor’s mom was beloved actress, Roxie Roker. A star in her own right, Roxie played one-half of television’s first interracial couple in the blockbuster CBS series “The Jeffersons”.
She and Kravitz had a close relationship, but it was reported that the musician was on tour when Roker suffered major complications with her breast cancer diagnosis. She succumbed to the disease at the age of 66.
Her death came as a shock to her fans, but unfortunately, breast cancer is a serious illness that most should take seriously if diagnosed.
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What is breast cancer?
Per the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is defined as a gradual change and overgrowth of healthy cells, which have grown out of control and formed into a tumor. Tumors can begin in different areas of the breast, like the glands that make breast milk, the ducts that carry milk to the nipple, or other tissue regions.
Having a family history of breast cancer, including inherited gene mutations, can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
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How does Breast Cancer Spread?
Data from the American Cancer Society reports that breast cancer can spread when the cancer cells get into the blood or lymph system and are carried to other parts of the body.
The lymph system is a network of lymph (or lymphatic) vessels found throughout the body that connects lymph nodes (small bean-shaped collections of immune system cells). The clear fluid inside the lymph vessels, called lymph, contains tissue by-products and waste material, as well as immune system cells. The lymph vessels carry lymph fluid away from the breast. In the case of breast cancer, cancer cells can enter those lymph vessels and start to grow in lymph nodes.
Most of the lymph vessels of the breast drain into:
- Lymph nodes under the arm (axillary nodes)
- Lymph nodes around the collar bone (supraclavicular [above the collar bone] and infraclavicular [below the collar bone] lymph nodes)
- Lymph nodes inside the chest near the breast bone (internal mammary lymph nodes)
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How is Breast Cancer Treated?
Typically, treatment plans are based on the type of breast cancer, its stage, and any special circumstances. Your treatment plan will