Frankie Banali outlines pancreatic cancer is the most difficult to treat with 9% and 5-year survival rate
Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali was recently interviewed by Ultimate Classic Rock and spoke about his battle with stage four pancreatic cancer.
In terms of how he found out what was going on, Banali indicated: “Actually, I didn’t. How the whole thing came about is I was supposed to go and play a couple of songs with Alex’s [Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi] side project with Dizzy [Reed] from
Guns N’ Roses, Hookers & Blow. I was supposed to play two songs with them at a show out here in L.A. That morning, I went to my storage unit to pick up some sticks and a couple of things. All of the sudden, I got a really terrible pain in my right calf. I could barely drive home, it was that severe. I got home and this was a Saturday and the earliest appointment I could get was for a Monday.
The following morning, when I got up, i was barely able to walk 10 steps and I was out of breath and my wife convinced me that late afternoon to not wait until my appointment and go to the emergency room. They did an ultrasound of my right leg and my left and then they did a scan of my upper section and they found out that I had a blood clot in my right leg, one in my left lung, one in my right lung and one in the saddle in between the two lungs. The danger there was that if any of those dislodged, they’d take two routes, either straight to the brain, aneurysm, end of story, or to the heart, heart attack, end of story.
Fortunately, or however you want to state it, when they did that scan, they caught part of my liver and they saw that there was a problem. They brought me back in at 3:30 in the morning to do another scan and that’s when they discovered that I had stage four pancreatic cancer and that it had also spread to the liver.”
Banali continued: “Well, you know, it was an interesting thing to take, because what happened is that now it’s 5:30 in the morning and I’m still laying there in emergency waiting for a room to get checked into the hospital. The floor doctor for the emergency room comes in and unceremoniously says, “You have terminal stage four pancreatic cancer that has spread to the liver and by the way, I really like your music.” He signed off on the sheet and walked out.”
With respect of the treatments that he underwent, Banali stated: “Yeah, you know, I went through seven rounds of chemotherapy and for each round, the cancer cell numbers were reduced by about 50 percent. I started out at about 6,800 cell count and got it down to 313 with the chemotherapy.”
Banali also outlined the grim statistics for people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer as he indicated: “The reality of pancreatic cancer is that about 57,000 people a year are diagnosed with it. It is by far the most difficult cancer to treat. It’s got a nine percent, five-year survival rate. And you know, many don’t make it that far. But my entire life has been a fight for everything. Nothing was ever given to me. I had to fight for everything. So I’m used to fighting and I’m treating this the same way I treat anything else. I intend to fight it all of the way to the end.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Frankie Banali at Ultimate Classic Rock.