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The Duke John Wayne suffered from ill health in the last 15 years of his life

John Wayne a star during Hollywoods Golden Age died from a common but deadly disease.

The Academy Award winner for his role in True Grit 1969 was born as Marion Robert Morrison in Iowa in 1907. Appearing in nearly 250 film productions John Wayne was a superstar of his time. While his acting career went from strength to strength his health deteriorated throughout the years. In September 1964 at the age of 57 Wayne had a cancerous lung removed from his body.

Then in 1978 when he was in his early 70s the fatherofseven underwent heart valve replacement surgery. The Duke – as he was known as – died at UCLA Medical Center LA on June 11 1979. As reported in Variety Wayne lost his battle with cancer after a 15year struggle. Wayne had been admitted to the hospital around five weeks prior to his death at which time doctors removed an intestinal obstruction. It was during this operation that surgeons discovered more cancerous tissue.

What causes cancer?
The World Health Organisation WHO stated Around one third of deaths from cancer are due to tobacco use high body mass index alcohol consumption low fruit and vegetable intake and lack of physical activity. There are also cancercausing infections such as human papillomavirus HPV and hepatitis. Physical carcinogens include ultraviolet and ionising radiation chemical carcinogens include asbestos tobacco smoke alcohol arsenic and aflatoxin. Biological carcinogens include infections from certain viruses bacteria or parasites.

The incidence of cancer rises dramatically with age most likely due to a buildup of risks for specific cancers that increase with age the WHO added. The overall risk accumulation is combined with the tendency for cellular repair mechanisms to be less effective as a person grows older. While cancer did eventually lead to Waynes death he could have died much sooner if his cancerous lung was not removed.

Biological carcinogens include infections from certain viruses bacteria or parasites. The incidence of cancer rises dramatically with age most likely due to a buildup of risks for specific cancers that increase with age the WHO added. The overall risk accumulation is combined with the tendency for cellular repair mechanisms to be less effective as a person grows older. While cancer did eventually lead to Waynes death he could have died much sooner if his cancerous lung was not removed.

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