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The Queen of Soul is reportedly undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, according to a series of reports. Most of those reports were unconfirmed, and Franklin has refused to confirm or deny any of them, although at least one Detroit television station attributed the news to one of Franklin's family members.
In an interview with Jet magazine, which Franklin has spoken exclusively to since her health rumors began, she revealed more about the ordeal she's been through. The trouble apparently started during a performance in Toronto last year when Franklin felt "a very hard pain in my side." She figured it was related to a recent colonoscopy and saw a series of doctors, all who told her nothing was wrong. Eventually she called her doctor back in Detroit, who urged her to return home immediately for testing. "Thank God he said that because that unfolded everything, what the problem was and everything," she told Jet.
She declined, however, to divulge details of her illness and treatment, and chastised the continuing search for news and gossip about her health. "There are a lot of people who will talk about anything, as long as there is somebody listening," she said. "But I am not one of those people. That's not Aretha."
In the interview, she also thanked her fans -- who held vigils in Detroit and several other cities last month -- for their support and prayers, and asked them to "continue to respect my privacy as I continue to recover."
In December, Franklin canceled all of her performances through May of this year. None have been rescheduled.