Virgil Abloh Death : Here’s Everything You Need to Know About a Rare Cancer
Abloh “valiantly fought” an aggressive form of cancer for more than two years, according to his doctors. He had chosen to keep his diagnosis a secret.After it was revealed that fashion designer Virgil Abloh, 41, had died from a rare form of cancer, tributes poured in from all over the world on Twitter and other social media platforms.
According to the description of a post on Abloh’s Instagram account on November 28, “We are heartbroken to announce the loss of our dear Virgil Abloh, a passionately dedicated father, husband, son, brother, and friend.” Abloh died on November 28 at the age of 42. Among those left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and a large number of loyal friends and colleagues.
He “valiantly battled a rare, severe form of cancer” called cardiac angiosarcoma, according to the post, and he did it in the privacy of his own home. “He has chosen to fight his battle quietly since his diagnosis in 2019, undertaking multiple difficult treatments while also serving as the chairman of several prominent institutions spanning fashion, art, and culture,” according to the blog post.
“Throughout it, all, his work ethic, boundless curiosity, and unwavering optimism remained unwavering. Virgil was motivated by his commitment to his craft and his mission to open doors for others and to pave the way for greater equality in the fields of art and design, both of which he accomplished “The text of the post reads as follows. His motto was “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,” and he believed passionately in the ability of art to inspire future generations.
Several fashion designers, among others, expressed their sympathies in the comments section of the article. “This is very heartbreaking. Please accept my sympathies,” Phillip Lim tweeted. “I’m very sorry for having to read this. My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends. My heartfelt condolences on your passing, dear Virgil “Marc Jacobs made this statement.
In the years leading up to his death, Abloh functioned as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line, in addition to serving as the CEO of Off-White, his own fashion business located in Milan. Because of his death, several issues have been raised concerning cardiac angiosarcoma. Here’s all you need to know about
What Is Cardiac Angiosarcoma?
As described by the National Cancer Institute, angiosarcoma is an extremely uncommon kind of cancer that originates in the inner lining of blood arteries and lymph veins (NCI). Angiosarcomas can form everywhere in the body, however, they are most commonly seen in the skin, breast, liver, and spleen, among other organs. Angiosarcoma of the heart, according to Jack Jacoub, MD, medical oncologist and medical director of MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, occurs in the chambers of the heart, as reported by Health.
How Common Is Cardiac Angiosarcoma?
According to the National Cancer Institute, angiosarcomas are identified in around one in every one million persons in the United States each year, making them extremely rare. As a subtype of angiosarcoma, cardiac angiosarcoma is even more uncommon than other types of angiosarcoma.
As Dr. Jacoub points out, “a very busy cancer doctor might only witness one or two [cases] in their whole career.”
The Sarcoma Department at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is headed by Ricardo Gonzalez, MD, who says that “the vast majority of them are spontaneous,” with just a tiny percentage of cases being linked to hereditary disorders.
What Are the Symptoms of Cardiac Angiosarcoma?
The authors of a case report on cardiac angiosarcoma published in 2019 note out that cardiac angiosarcoma can be difficult to identify because the early symptoms are typically “non-specific.” The doctor agrees, but notes that there are a few things that people who have this type of cancer should be aware of:
- Arrhythmia (where the heart beats too fast or too slow)
- Blood pooling in the legs and ankles, leading to swelling
- chest pain
- Coughing up blood
The symptoms of cardiac angiosarcoma might be confused with those of other medical disorders, and only a healthcare expert can determine whether or not you have cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult with your doctor.
Who Is at Risk of Developing Cardiac Angiosarcoma?
In light of the rarity of cardiac angiosarcomas, Dr. Jacoub explains that it is difficult for scientists to determine the specific risk factors that contribute to this particular kind of cancer. There is no single lifestyle situation that increases your chance of cardiac angiosarcoma, as there is for smoking or lung cancer, according to Dr. Hecht.
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According to the National Cancer Institute, a gene known as POT1 may have a role in the development of cardiac angiosarcoma, which can be passed down through generations.
Dr. Jacoub explains that other variables, such as previous radiation therapy or exposure to cancer-causing substances, are more common in those who are at elevated risk of cancer.
How Is Cardiac Angiosarcoma Treated?
According to Dr. Jacoub, the illness is often identified when a person sees their doctor after experiencing uncommon symptoms such as fainting or dizziness, among others. After that, they’ll have an ultrasound of their heart performed, followed by an MRI of their heart.
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As Dr. Jacoub explains, “at times, the tumor might seem to be a clot, which is far more prevalent,” which makes this a tough illness to identify. The majority of the time, once a patient has been correctly diagnosed, the doctor will propose surgery in order to try to remove the tumor. “It’s essentially the only opportunity someone has,” Dr. Jacoub said of the situation.
This is frequently followed by chemotherapy, which is used to try to destroy any cancer cells that may still be present.
Dr. Jacoub notes that in some situations, due to the difficulty of operating on the heart’s chambers and the possibility that cancer has spread to other sections of the heart, doctors may offer a heart transplant to patients. However, as he points out, this is not the norm. The presence of cardiac angiosarcoma is a rare disease, and there is currently no standard of therapy, explains Dr. Jacoub.
It will actually depend on the extent of cancer’s spread, according to Teresa Lee, MD, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, who spoke to Health about her experience. “Because cardiac angiosarcoma can manifest itself in a variety of ways at first, it is frequently found to have progressed to other parts of the body by the time it is diagnosed. When cancer is diagnosed, therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation are used to relieve symptoms and, in the best-case scenario, to extend the patient’s life for many months.”
What Are the Outcomes Usually Like With Cardiac Angiosarcoma?
According to Dr. Lee, if the tumor is discovered early enough, surgery—either the excision of the tumor or the actual heart transplantation—could be curative.
Cardiovascular angiosarcoma, on the other hand, is often a fatal condition. In Dr. Jacoub’s opinion, “even with surgery, the prognosis is typically dismal.” It is estimated that the typical survival time following a diagnosis is between six and twelve months.
In the best of conditions, patients may have a few years of life left to them after undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, according to Dr. Gonzalez. “The majority of patients will survive less than a year. Despite the fact that there are no absolutes in medicine, I would consider this to be a generally fatal diagnosis from the outside unless it is found extremely early and the patient does not acquire metastatic illness throughout his or her time of follow-up.”