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Nick Ashford Dies of Throat Cancer

By on August 22, 2011

The music industry lost one of its icons in Nick Ashford, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson.  The legendary  songwriter and crooner died in a New York City hospital Monday, August 22nd after suffering from throat cancer.  Ashford is survived by his wife, Valerie Simpson and two daughters.

The disease that claimed the life of Nick Ashford and nearly actor, Michael Douglas is preventable by avoiding smoking and other tobacco exposure; and limiting alcohol use.  Cancer of the throat is cancer of the vocal cords, voice box (larynx), or other areas of the throat. Most cancers of the throat develop in adults older than 50. Men are 10 times more likely than women to develop throat cancers.


  • Abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds
  • Cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness that does not get better in 1 – 2 weeks
  • Neck pain
  • Sore throat that does not get better in 1 – 2 weeks, even with antibiotics
  • Swelling or lumps in the neck
  • Unintentional weight loss

Treatment goals are generally to completely remove the cancer and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body. When the tumor is small, either surgery or radiation therapy alone can be used to remove the tumor.

Throat cancers can be cured in 90% of patients if detected early. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or lymph nodes in the neck, 50 – 60% of patients can be cured. If the cancer has spread(metastasized) to parts of the body outside the head and neck, the cancer is not curable and treatment is aimed at prolonging and improving quality of life.

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of throat cancer, especially hoarseness or a change in voice with no obvious cause that lasts longer than 3 weeks or if you find a lump in your neck that does not go away in 2 – 3 weeks. For more information about cancer, contact the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at  1-888-597-7705 or go online for information at cancercenter.com.


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  2. Mr.TramueL

    August 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Great information Walker.

  3. science writer

    August 23, 2011 at 7:12 am

    You should not be referring people to a for-profit cancer center.

    Refer to the American Cancer Society


    or the National Cancer Institute!


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