Wilko Johnson dies at age 75 after battling pancreatic cancer

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Dr. Feel-good rocker and Game of Thrones star Wilko Johnson has died aged 75 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Johnson received a terminal diagnosis in 2013 and was told he had 10 months to live after opting not to undergo chemotherapy.

Yet he defied all odds and two years later declared himself cancer free after doctors removed a 3kg tumor in an 11 hour surgery.

In a statement posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday, it was revealed that the star passed away at his home on Monday. His cause of death is unknown.

RIP: dr. Feel-good rocker and Game of Thrones star Wilko Johnson has passed away aged 75 after battling pancreatic cancer (pictured in 2018)

The tweet read: “This is the announcement we never wanted to make, and it is with a heavy heart that Wilko Johnson has passed away.

He passed away at home on Monday, November 21. Thank you for respecting the family’s privacy at this very sad time. RIP Wilko Johnson.”

Fans immediately rushed to pay tribute to the legendary rocker, with RIP Wilko trending on Twitter within minutes of the announcement.

In 2013, Johnson revealed that he had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, but vowed to fulfill his touring commitments and keep playing as long as possible.

His manager Robert Hoy said at the time: ‘He said he wants to make the most of the time he has left, play and party when he can.

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“He is currently in good spirits with no physical effects yet and can expect to enjoy reasonable health and activity for at least a few more months.”

Sad news: In a statement posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday, it was revealed that the star passed away at his home on Monday.  His cause of death is unknown

Sad news: In a statement posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday, it was revealed that the star passed away at his home on Monday. His cause of death is unknown

As seen on screen: Johnson played a stupid executioner in Game Of Thrones (depicted in the HBO series starring Sophie Turner)

As seen on screen: Johnson played a stupid executioner in Game Of Thrones (depicted in the HBO series starring Sophie Turner)

In 2017, Johnson spoke out about defying the odds, revealing that his terminal diagnosis had given him a different outlook on life.

“That year when I thought my life was over was one of the best years of my life.

“The way I handled it was always to understand, ‘Yeah, I’m going to die,’ but don’t sit there wishing you didn’t die, because we’re all going to die.” I never felt self-pity. I never cried in all this time…

‘Looking out at thousands and thousands of people [at Fuji Rock in Japan] and they all know you’re gonna die… oh man. I’m dying, but it’s okay. What a highlight.

He added: “It’s hard to know that there are people who have cancer who don’t survive, and then me.”

Talented: Johnson was known for his unique, choppy guitar style, having learned to play right-handed despite being left-handed (pictured in 1979)

Talented: Johnson was known for his unique, choppy guitar style, having learned to play right-handed despite being left-handed (pictured in 1979)

Johnson was known for his unique, choppy guitar style, having learned to play right-handed despite being left-handed.

In the mid-1970s, he played and wrote with Dr. Feelgood on albums like Down by the Jetty, Malpractice, Stupidity and Sneakin’ Suspicion.

After forming the band Solid Senders in 1977, he joined Ian Dury’s The Blockheads in 1980.

He then played a stupid executioner in Game Of Thrones.

Tribute: Fans immediately rushed to pay tribute to the legendary rocker, with RIP Wilko trending on Twitter within minutes of the announcement

Tribute: Fans immediately rushed to pay tribute to the legendary rocker, with RIP Wilko trending on Twitter within minutes of the announcement

Paul Weller, 64, was inspired by the musician, who once said: ‘Wilko may not be as famous as some other guitarists, but he’s on top.

And there are many people who will say the same thing. I hear Wilko in many places. It’s a legacy.’

Johnson, who lives in his home country of Essex, was left a widow when his wife Irene lost her battle with cancer in 2004. The couple is survived by their son Simon.

WHAT IS Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of the disease, and about 95 percent of people who contract it die from it.

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Joan Crawford, Patrick Swayze, and Luciano Pavarotti all died of pancreatic cancer.

It is the sixth most common cause of cancer death in the UK – around 10,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the UK, alongside around 55,000 in the US.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE?

It is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas – a large gland in the digestive system.

WHO HAS THE HIGHEST RISK?

Most cases (90 percent) are in people over the age of 55.

About half of all new cases occur in people age 75 or older.

One in 10 cases is attributed to genetics.

Other possible causes include age, smoking, and other health problems, including diabetes.

WHY IS IT SO DEADLY?

There is no screening method for pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer usually shows no symptoms in the early stages, when it would be more manageable.

Sufferers tend to develop the telltale signs – jaundice and abdominal pain – around stage 3 or 4, when it has probably already spread to other organs.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?

The only effective treatment is to remove the pancreas.

This proves largely ineffective for those whose cancer has spread to other organs.

In those cases, palliative care is advised to ease their pain at the end of their lives.

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