According to New York Daily News a friend of Davids said he had liver cancer.
David Bowie died of liver cancer, friend and collaborator says
BY JACQUELINE CUTLER NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, January 11, 2016, 11:28 AM
David Bowie died of liver cancer, says his close friend.
The pop icon died Sunday after battling cancer for 18 months — and no details were officially released.
But Ivo Van Hove, a Belgian theater director who worked with Bowie on the New York Theater Workshop production of "Lazarus," told a Dutch radio station that Bowie had liver cancer.
Bowie, who turned 69 Friday, kept his cancer private and only his closest circle knew.
David Bowie, the legendary British rock star behind hits "Space Oddity," "Major Tom," "Young Americans" and "Fame," has died after a 18-month battle with cancer on Jan. 10, 2016, just days after his 69th birthday. The news of Bowie's death was confirmed on the artist's official Facebook page: "David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief." Take a look back at his life and impressive career that spanned over 40 years ...David Bowie dead at 69: Look back at the rocker's life and career.David Bowie and ImanDavid Bowie wearing his iconic lighting makeup on the cover of his 1973 album, Aladdin SaneVIEW GALLERY
David Bowie dead at 69: Look back at the rocker's life and career
Reports said that Bowie had cancer for 18 months, on the longer side of the survival rate, which is six to 20 months, said Dr. Ankur Parikh, a hematologist-oncologist with Cancer Treatment Centers, Eastern Regional Medical Center. Liver cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the world, with lung cancer as the first for men and breast cancer for women, he said.
Parikh was careful to explain he was talking about liver cancer in general and not Bowie specifically.
The most common causes of liver cancer, with 80% of the cases, are Hepatitis B and C virus infections.
"Part of the thing to do is control those viruses," Parikh said. "If you have Heiaitis B or Hepatitis C, be plugged into a specialist for the liver who can treat the infection."
David Bowie, who died Sunday, apparently had liver cancer, a friend said Monday.
Another common cause of liver cancer, he said, is cirrhosis.
"Alcohol can lead to cirrhosis and cirrhosis is when liver cells are no longer functioning," he said. "Anything that can cause cirrhosis also increases the risk."
Symptoms of liver cancer often do not show up until the cancer is advanced, he said. Those symptoms include jaundice, diarrhea, weight loss and "when the liver starts failing the spleen can get larger and some patients will get full quickly," Parikh said.
Treatment hinges on how extensive the cancer is and if it's early in the process, surgery is possible as people can survive without a portion of the liver. Chemo is not usually a good option but there is an FDA-approved pill that targets liver cancer.
"Patients unfortunately succumb to liver failure," Parikh said. "You cannot live without the liver. Things that normally get filtered no longer do and the liver is responsible for making proteins in the blood which help keep it safe and when the liver starts failing, you grow more susceptible to bleeding and bruising."