Wilko Johnson Pancreatic Cancer and Cause of Death will be discussed in this publication. Johnson was forced to cancel a show in November 2012 when he was rushed to hospital with an undisclosed ailment. He was diagnosed in January 2013 with late stage pancreatic cancer, and elected not to receive any chemotherapy.
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On 25 January 2013, he gave an interview to John Wilson on the BBC Radio 4 arts programme Front Row. He discussed his cancer and said doctors had told him he had nine or ten months to live. He also talked about his “farewell tour” of the UK set for March and how his diagnosis had made him feel “vividly alive”.
After the tour was over, he announced he would spend his final days recording a farewell album with The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey. The album, Going Back Home, was released in March 2014. “I thought that was going to be the last thing I ever did”, he later told BBC News entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson in October 2014.
However, Johnson did not have the more common adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. It was later discovered that he had a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (PanNET), a less aggressive and more treatable form of the disease.
Johnson underwent radical surgery to treat his illness, and the doctors were hopeful that his prognosis would be good. At the Q Awards on 22 October 2014, Johnson accepted the “Icon Award” and announced that he was “cancer-free” having undergone “removal of his pancreas, spleen, part of his stomach, small and large intestines and the removal and reconstruction of blood vessels relating to the liver”. Johnson said: “It was an 11-hour operation… This tumour weighed 3kg – that’s the size of a baby! Anyway, they got it all. They cured me.
It’s so weird and so strange that it’s kind of hard to come to terms with it in my mind. Now, I’m spending my time gradually coming to terms with the idea that my death is not imminent, that I am going to live on”. He added that he was still recovering from the operation and when asked what he would do next replied: “I don’t know really”.
Johnson died on 21 November 2022, at home, at the age of 75. Following the announcement of Johnson’s death, Billy Bragg said,: “His guitar playing was angry and angular, but his presence – twitchy, confrontational, out of control – was something we’d never beheld before in UK pop. Rotten, Strummer and Weller learned a lot from his edgy demeanour.” Alex Kapranos, lead singer of Franz Ferdinand said, “His unique, wired playing & stage presence thrilled & inspired many guitarists, myself included.” Broadcaster Bob Harris said “Wilko was absolutely unique. His energy and spirit were incredible.”