Phil Lesh diagnosed with bladder cancer

Furthur in concert at The Joint in Las Vegas, America - 04 Oct 2012Phil Lesh diagnosed with bladder cancer

Ex-Grateful Dead bassist calls off shows

By David Sands
October 20, 2015

Phil Lesh has revealed he’s struggling with bladder cancer.

The Grateful Dead’s former bassist broke the news to fans himself in a recent Facebook announcement explaining why he was canceling two upcoming Phil Lesh & Friends shows. Thankfully, the 75-year-old musician’s prognosis looks good.

“I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in early October, and have spent the last few weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale doing tests and eventually surgery to remove the tumors,” Lesh said.  “I am very fortunate to have the pathology reports show that the tumors are all non aggressive, and that there is no indication that they have spread.”

Lesh thanked his doctor Cliff Sewell and Mayo Clinic staff in his post, adding that he expected to return to regular activities after two weeks of healing from surgery. The bassist’s health ordeals, however, have forced him to cancel two Phil & Friends shows featuring Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes that were scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25 at Terrapin Crossroads, his restaurant and concert hall in San Rafael, Calif.

The bassist plans to reschedule those shows at a later date.

Lesh has been playing with various incarnations of Phil & Friends since the Grateful Dead broke up in 1994. The group plays interpretations of Dead songs, covers and orginal material by members of the band.

Regrettably, bladder cancer isn’t the only serious health issue the bass player has grappled with in recent years.

In 1998, Lesh underwent a liver transplant to deal with a chronic Hepatitis C infection. As a result of that he became a dedicated advocate of organ donor programs, frequently speaking out about their importance during live shows. The bassist also had surgery to remove prostate cancer in 2006.

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1 Comment

  • i know what ur going through my husband is a 2 yr survivior of bladder cancer he had to have the surgery to remove his bladder he went from t1 to t3 in 2 yrs it started with the tumors being cleaned out to chemo to having the surgery


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