American soul and gospel singer Candi Staton reveals she has breast cancer

Diva of Gospel takes on the fight against cancer and declares "I'm somebody all by myself."

Candi Staton, 78, has been singing since she was 11, and has trod a hard road to success. The singer was diagnosed with breast cancer, and may now face the hardest battle of her life, reported Rolling Stone.com on October 29, 2018.

She had been diagnosed with breast cancer after finding a lump in her breast, yet another challenge for this survivor to face.

Staton, who was married 6 times and has six children, startled her producer Mark Nevers, by stating that she is alone. 

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A LIFETIME OF MUSIC AND PAIN

The revelation came during the recording of Staton's 2017 album, while she was jamming for a song called “The Prize Is Not Worth the Pain.”

Staton had a harsh beginning in her life and had struggled to overcome childhood traumas, only to fall into the vicious trap of domestic violence.

MUSIC WAS HER SALVATION AND HER STRENGTH

At the age of 11, Staton and her sister Maggie were sent to the Jewell Christian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. The school's pastor was impressed by their vocal abilities and teamed the two sisters with a third girl to form the Jewell Gospel Trio. 

TOURING WITH GOSPEL IN THE 50s

The trio toured the traditional gospel circuit with the Soul Stirrers, C. L. Franklin and Mahalia Jackson; and even recorded for Nashbro, Apollo and Savoy Records. But when the trio dissolved, Stanton had to reinvent herself and go on on her own.

SINGING HER TORTURED SOUL

Staton launched her solo career as a soul singer, gaining the title of "First Lady of Southern Soul" for her Grammy-nominated R&B rendition of Tammy Winnett's song "Stand by Your Man." She had an astounding 16 R&B hits with Rick Hall's Fame Studios and her legacy was assured.

Far from resting on her laurels, Staton has continued evolving and challenging herself. Now she faces yet another difficulty in her path, and one we are sure she will overcome with her music and her warrior-spirit.

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THE FIRST SIGNS OF BREAST CANCER

Staton revealed that she had noticed a lump in her breast when putting on deodorant one morning in July 2017.

Like so many women, she waited to see if it would go away, and weeks later went to her doctor. The shocking diagnosis was breast cancer. Like Staton, many women ignore the first signs of breast cancer, hoping they will go away.

Breast cancer survival rates are highest with an early diagnosis, and that is why medical authorities and breast-cancer-awareness campaigns keep alerting women to go to their doctors at the first symptoms.

So what should women look for? 

Any lump in the breast or a thickening that feels different from the surrounding breast tissue should be investigated.

Any change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast, or changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling can indicate something is wrong.

A newly inverted nipple is cause for alarm and should be seen by a doctor, as should peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple.

Experts advise that any alteration should be seen by a doctor, even if a recent mammogram indicated everything was normal.

Most important of all, women should not delay in seeking medical help. The symptoms won't go away, but the delay may make the cancer harder to treat.

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