In memory of ‘Kojak’ actor Telly Savalas who died of urinary tract cancer in 1994 at the age of 72


Telly Savalas died the day after his 72nd birthday in 1994 from complications from prostate and bladder cancer.

The Greek-American actor, diagnosed in 1989, died while sleeping in the Sheraton Universal hotel suite According to spokesman Mike Mamakos, he had lived in Universal City, California. “I loved him very much. He was a wonderful man,” said Mamakos.

The TV star died five days after the Northridge earthquake, one of the strongest on record in California. The hotel structure had survived, and Savalas could die in peace when the paparazzi who had swarmed the property finally rushed away after the natural disaster.

Savalas was survived by his wife Julie Hovland, ex-wives Katharine Nicolaides, Marilyn Gardner and Sally Adams, six children and four grandchildren.

(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Savalas also happened to be the godfather of A-lister Jennifer Aniston; He had been friends with her father, the late John Aniston, who was also an actor of Greek descent.

See also: In memory of Ray Bolger, the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, who died of bladder cancer in 1987

Savalas, a New Yorker who served three years in World War II, was born to immigrant parents, both of Greek origin. Although he’s done dozens of films, that’s it kojakthe hit 1970s TV show for which he was best known played the title role of Lt. Theo Kojak, which brought him success Emmy Award, although he wasn’t new to the awards show scene. Savalas already had one Oscar nomination under his belt from 1952 Birdman from Alcatraz.

Telly’s health battle

the kojak Stern reportedly had subjected to treatment for prostate cancer at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, per LA times. There are conflicting reports as to whether the cancer started in his prostate or bladder as all the media was reporting on the prostate. However, his eldest daughter, Christina Kousakis, later explained that it was bladder cancer, as reported cancer today Magazine, so it’s possible he was affected in both areas, since bladder cancer can spread to the prostate and vice versa.

Related: More Than 30% Of Cancer Content Promoted On Social Media Is Fake And Harmful; How to check online stories

It is also important to note that there has also been more confusion about primary and secondary cancers in the past, and today there is generally more education and activism to get information about cancer out to the masses. Both bladder and prostate cancer are considered urological cancers. Prostate cancer is easier to catch early, but symptoms can be similar for both types.

Learning About Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men but slightly less common in women. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be around 81,180 new cases of bladder cancer in 2022 (about 61,700 in males and 19,480 in females) and about 17,100 deaths from the disease (12,120 in males and 4,980 in females).

Aside from aging, there is a major culprit directly linked to bladder cancer and that is smoking.

dr Jay Shah explains the risk factors for bladder cancer

“Smoking cigarettes, pipes and cigars is the number one risk factor for bladder cancer,” he says dr Jay Shah, Associate Surgeon and Associate Professor of Urology at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Cancer Care Program for Urological Oncology. The National Institutes of Health reports that about half of all bladder cancer cases are linked to smoking.

Related: The 2022 Reset: 5 Things You Can Do Now to Drastically Reduce Your Risk of Cancer for Years to Come

One of the reasons why smoking is so bad for the bladder is that the toxins in nicotine and its chemical compounds can remain in the bladder for a long time before being expelled from the body in the urine.

“The most important thing for a healthy bladder is not to smoke,” he says dr Arjun Balar, Director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center. “And I think that’s an obvious proposition for a number of reasons. But if we can eliminate the risk of cancer associated with smoking, that’s probably the most important thing you can do.”

When bladder cancer spreads

Like any other cancer, bladder cancer can spread beyond the organ of origin. It can reach nearby lymph nodes or other parts of your body.

A person may first be diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer, or treatment for another cancer could show that the disease has spread to the bladder. Determining how the cancer formed determines treatment.

See also: Digital Guide – Bladder Cancer and Surgery

In the advanced stages of the disease, chemotherapy is the basis of treatment for bladder cancer, which has spread, but new immunotherapies are changing the outlook for some people with the cancer.

dr Mark Tyson explains treatment options for bladder cancer that has spread

When bladder cancer has reached a late stage, surgery may not be an option. However, your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve symptoms and make you more comfortable.

“We need to take a systemic approach, which means treating the whole body,” explains Dr. Balar in another interview with SurvivorNet. He adds that platinum-based chemotherapy is still the backbone of treatment for advanced bladder cancer. But doctors are increasingly using immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy is a new type of treatment for advanced bladder cancer. It uses the power of your own immune system to fight your cancer. “Where immunotherapies actually have the greatest impact are in the people who are not candidates for cisplatin,” says Dr. Balar.

Related: FDA approves first major new alternative to surgery for bladder cancer in 20 years

A group of immunotherapies called PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors block proteins on cancer cells. These proteins normally block T cells — killer cells in your immune system — from attacking you. “As a result, the T cell is now revived and can do what it is supposed to do, which is to attack the cancer cell,” says Dr. Balar.

Of course, the key is always to keep an eye on your health so you can catch potential cancer early before you have to worry about advanced treatment. If you experience pain or discomfort when urinating, it’s best to always check to rule out something serious.

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical screening process.


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