By Tanya Blake
Former “American Idol” contestant Joanne Borgella passed away today, October 18th. She was 32. The singer had been fighting a rare case of cancer called Endometrial.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus. The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped pelvic organ in women where fetal development occurs.
The disease struck 72,160 women in 2011, according statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). It mostly affects women over the age of 50 and more white women than African Americans.
Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecological malignancy and the fourth most common among all cancers affecting American women, according to Dr. Andrea Mariani, associate professor of gynecology and surgery at the Mayo Clinic, who has studied the disease for 15 years.
The good news is that about 70 to 80 percent of all endometrial cancers – both Type 1 and Type 2 – are curable, according to Mariani.
Type 1 is hormone-dependent with a high cure rate. Type 2, which occurs in only 15 percent of endometrial cancer, is more aggressive and usually fatal.
Endometrial cancer is often detected at an early stage because it frequently produces abnormal vaginal bleeding, which prompts women to see their doctors. If endometrial cancer is discovered early, removing the uterus surgically often cures endometrial cancer.
According to Cancer.org the disease has about a 5 year survival rate.
Borgella’s family shared the news on her Facebook page writing, ‘With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Joanne,’ the post began. ‘At an early age, Joanne made a choice to serve and trust the Lord; and since her diagnosis over a year ago, Joanne made a choice to also be a fighter and share her journey with the world.
‘Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered. Although our family is suffering with this great loss, we find comfort in the closeness Joanne shared with the Lord. We know her spirit still shines and will continue to live on in heaven.’
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After being diagnosed with cancer in October 2013, she went on to share her story with her fans in video and blog posts, regularly updating her followers on her progress.
Joanne was the first winner of “Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance” using the name “Miss F.A.T.” in 2005. In 2008 she was on Season 7 of “A.I.” and made it into the top 12 girls category.
The Borgella and Ramirez families have asked fans to ‘take the time to educate yourselves on Endometrial Cancer and support research efforts’.