I was really excited, I was supposed to go to a book signing in LA with Christopher Hitchens. He was going to give a talk this week. It was going to be awesome. A couple weeks ago, there was a thing in Seattle that a friend of mine was trying to go to, he cancelled for “personal reasons”. Not long after that, he cancelled the one in LA, also for “personal reasons”.
I threw myself into full internet research mode, but there just wasn’t any info out there. I even tried to get the Pharyngulite Horde onto it, but no one really responded.
He’s got cancer. Esophageal cancer for which he’s getting chemo, which means it’s probably advanced. The average five year survival rate, according to Wikipedia, is 5%. According to the following site, 14,250 are diagnosed each year, and 14,000 die.
While no surefire way to prevent cancer of the esophagus exists certain risk factors can be minimized to reduce the risk of cancer. Smoking and excessive alcohol multiply the risk of esophageal cancer up to 44 times, so avoiding these two factors decreases the risk and improves your overall health.
Well, that’s Christopher Hitchens in a nutshell, he smokes and drinks, it’s who he is. It’s a shame if that means he’s going to die at 61. He’ll probably laugh and say at least he got his memoir done before he died.