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Patience, Internet Researcher
Category: General
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Experience:  MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
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How exactly did Bob Marley get cancer, was his death preventable

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How exactly did Bob Marley get cancer, was his death preventable and did his religious beliefs stop him from trying to get treated?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Martin replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome. He developed a cancer to a toe. He refused the amputation because of religious belief (but for all we know he was perhaps just scared of the operation). He then selected later, non chemical treatment again because of religious belief (not that it was sure to save him either).
He was also smoking a lot and skin cancer like he had increase with smoking habit:
Not smoking sure could help to reduce the probability to develop cancer.
Another possible cause was perhaps lack of hygiene. I surely saw him a lot barefoot and the cancer he got usually is found under nails on hand and feet, places that are often dirty and exposed to lot of dirt, virus and bacteria. I remember reading an article once that talked about the frequent scrotum cancer in the middle ages that developed because being dirty was frequent. Note the hygiene point mentioned here:
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Do you know anything specific about Rastafarianism that precluded him from seeking treatment and/or amputating the toe? Did doctors believe he would recover if they amputated? The hygiene angle is interesting, though anecdotal, but potentially plausible. The smoking angle less so, since he was pretty exclusively a marijuana smoker (no genuine studies to date have been able to find a correlation between marijuana smoking and cancer).
Expert:  Martin replied 3 years ago.
Smoking any kind of carbon based material increase cancer chance because amount of creosote is always produced. Looking deeper into this i found back more scrotum :)
Exposure to different types of creosote has caused cancer of the skin and of the scrotum.
Sure they believed he could at least increase his survival chance or else the procedure would not be offered for nothing.
Rastafarianism don't allow amputation because they think they are eternal both in spirit and physic. So an amputation is a sin and something you would carry for eternity.
Expert:  Patience replied 3 years ago.
Hello- I love Bob Marley and his music, and it has been my pleasure to answer your question further! In a nutshell: it's difficult to know how he got the cancer in the first place. it could have been genetically programmed, it could have been due to exposure to something toxic in his surroundings, or both, or something else. Medical research has yet to provide definitive answers on what causes cancer and according to the American Academy of Dermatology 2010, no effective therapy exists, even now, for metastatic disease such as Bob Marley had developed by that time. Early detection and removal of the primary tumor or mole is the only solution they can suggest.
According to many sources, the first public indication that something was amiss with Bob Marley’s health was in the summer of 1977 when he injured his right big toe during a soccer game.
Apparently, though, the toe had been injured before and Marley had a wound there “on and off” for many years. This points to the probability that a skin cancer had been growing there for awhile. In fact, a classic sign of skin cancer is a wound or sore that refuses to heal.
Anyway, Marley’s toe nail was removed and the toe was bandaged. It appeared to heal. However, later that summer he hurt the toe again playing soccer. When it was eventually seen by a doctor, the appearance of his toe was reportedly shocking—it looked as though it had been “eaten away.” This was when a biopsy was finally done and a diagnosis of stage 3-4 Melanoma was given to Bob Marley. In other words, the cancer was already pretty advanced by the time it was diagnosed. This type of cancer often occurs on non-exposed areas such as the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or under the nails. It is may first present as a dark mole or spot. Since repeated trauma to the area can set off the cancer, it could be speculated that playing lots of soccer (as Bob Marley did) could have set off the cancer or made it worse.
Marley was eventually advised that the best treatment would be to amputate the toe and possibly the right foot, to stop the cancer from spreading. People are faced with such intense choices about cancer all the time. Think about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have her breasts removed to avoid the possibility of cancer.
Marley chose to not get the amputation because the Rastafarian religion has the belief that amputation is sinful. This, apparently, is based on the Bible verse Leviticus 21:5, which states, "They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in the flesh." The first part of this verse is the foundation of the belief in the wearing of dreadlocks, and the last part is the basis for a belief that amputation is sinful.
It is conjectured that the recommended amputation would have likely saved his life. However, malignant melanoma is notoriously aggressive and therapy-resistant, so it could be that even the amputation would not have completely stopped it.
At any rate, Marley decided to only have the cancerous tissue in his toe removed and over the course of the next year or so, the cancer began to spread throughout his body. Finally in September 1980, Bob Marley collapsed while jogging through Central Park during a concert tour. Tests showed a brain tumor, which had metastasized from the cancer on his toe.
When the cancer spread to his lungs and liver, he did receive some radiation treatments, but by then it was too late to be of much good to stop the cancer. Also, he did seek, to no avail, alternative medicine treatments in Germany, where he celebrated his 36th and final birthday. He was said to weigh a shocking 82lbs on -May 11, 1981 when he died.
Bob Marley received a state funeral in Jamaica, combining Orthodox Ethiopian and Rastafarian religious traditions. He was buried with his guitar, a soccer ball, a marijuana bud, a ring, and a Bible.
Please rate my response using the star system so I can be credited for my time. After that, please feel free to ask any further questions or make any further comments.
Please hit the REPLY tab if any issues come up regarding the service you have received. Come back soon and remember to ask for Patience P!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Patience,Thanks so much, your answer was extremely helpful and clarified a debate I was having with some of my co-workers. 5 stars!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm writing you via, so the rating stars won't appear until you reply. Hit me back and I'll make sure you get credit for your answer.
Expert:  Patience replied 3 years ago.
I am so glad I was able to be of help to you. Thank you for using! Best regards, ***** *****
Patience, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 290
Experience: MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
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