Elton John reveals secret prostate cancer battle in 2017 that left him incontinent and crippled with pain

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ELTON John secretly battled prostate cancer in 2017 which left him incontinent and crippled with pain from a rare complication.

The singer, 72, also suffered a near death experience just months later and was rushed to intensive care after contracting a life-threatening disease, where doctors told him he’d had just 24 hours to live.

Elton John has revealed his secret prostate cancer battle
AFP or licensors

Elton made the shocking revelations in his new autobiography Me: Elton John Official.

Writing about his cancer diagnosis, he revealed doctors caught the disease early and he chose to have life-saving surgery over a course of radiation and chemotherapy.

He wrote in his book: “It was prostate cancer. I wasn’t as shocked at hearing the word ‘cancer’ as I might have been.

“They’d caught it early. The oncologist told me I had two options. One was surgery to remove my prostate.

Elton with husband David Furnish
Getty Images – Getty

“The other was a course of radiation and chemotherapy that meant I would have to go back to hospital dozens of times. I went straight for the surgery.”

Despite the operation being a success Elton, who’s dad to Elijah and Zachary from his marriage to David Furnish, 56, suffered a crippling complication which left him temporarily incontinent.

He said: “It wasn’t until I arrived in Las Vegas ten days later for a gig at Caesars Palace that I noticed something wasn’t right. As the day progressed, the pain got worse and worse.

“I’ve worn some ridiculous things onstage in my time, but never a giant nappy. I don’t know if you’ve ever stood in front of 4,000 cheering fans, singing Candle In The Wind while literally p***ing yourself, but if you haven’t, I can tell you for a fact it’s quite an odd experience.”

The pain was caused by fluid leaking from Elton’s lymph nodes and was eventually cured by doctors performing a routine colonoscopy.

Just months later, Elton was rushed to intensive care and told he had just 24 hours to live after contracting a tropical disease from a trip to South America.


Recalling the incident, Elton said he was terrified he was going to die.

He wrote: “The doctors told David I was 24 hours away from death. If the South American tour had gone on for another day that would have been it: brown bread. So I was incredibly lucky — although, I have to say, I didn’t feel terribly lucky at the time. I lay awake all night, wondering if I was going to die.”

After spending eleven days in hospital, Elton was sent home to recover for seven weeks.

In the book he revealed how he prayed to survive for the sake of his young sons.


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