Patricia might never sing again

2009-05-05 22:58

Johannesburg - Singer Patricia Lewis is being tested for cancer since six tumours where found attached to her thyroid.

There is the possibility that she will never be able to sing again, it was confirmed to Beeld on Tuesday.

Doctors are especially concerned about one tumour, which grows extremely fast, and is currently "the size of a small apricot". She's been advised to have this particular tumour removed as soon as possible, regardless of whether it's cancerous or benign.

Such an operation could, however, cause permanent scarring on her vocal cords, which would mean that she will never be able to sing again, her Mark Whitehead, told Beeld on Tuesday.

Can only wait

Lewis wasn't able to speak to Beeld personally. Whitehead said that Lewis is calm and that they are now "just holding thumbs that the tumours are benign. Until we know, there's nothing more we can do".

Keith Lister, chief executive of Sony Music, Lewis' record company, said on Tuesday that he has the "sad task" of informing the public about Lewis' condition, "because Patricia would like to tell the real, true facts to her friends and fans" and she doesn't want them to have to rely on rumours.

The thyroid gland is located in the neck, just above the vocal cords.

Consulting with specialists

According to Lister, Lewis has spent the last three weeks consulting with specialists and surgeons. Blood tests and sonar scans of the tumour have already been done.

The scans and blood tests have thus far not brought much clarity regarding whether the tumours are cancerous or not. On Monday, Patricia had a biopsy done on the fast-growing tumour, and she will know within days whether it is cancerous or not.

This particular tumour must be removed as soon as possible, since it grows so quickly and is currently placing pressure on her vocal cords and airways. "There is the risk that the operation... will damage her vocal cords and that she would never be able to sing again."

Duets with David Hasselhoff

Lister has said that Lewis, regardless of her situation, agreed to attempt to record a duet with the US actor and singer David Hasselhoff before she undergoes the operation. "David asked her to record several duets with him."

Depending on the results of the biopsy, and if time allows, she will try to record at least one of the duets before she has the operation.

"She won't be able to talk at all for several weeks after the operation."

Lewis and Whitehead produced the popular programme Supersterre for SABC2, and she was also the presenter. A new season was promptly axed by SABC2 last year.