The Queen of Soul is doing "okay" amid pancreatic cancer reports, say family members

By People Staff
December 09, 2010 10:30 AM

Aretha Franklin, who has been suffering from a previously unknown illness, is “doing better than doctors expected” and should be released from the hospital this weekend, a cousin says.

Brenda Corbett tells the Detroit Free Press that “[Franklin] has a long life in front of her and will be back in concert, on stage, late spring or early summer.”

The statements come a day after another relative told Fox 2 Detroit that Franklin has cancer. And though the type of cancer has not been confirmed, The National Enquirer reports that the Queen of Soul has incurable and inoperable pancreatic cancer, and that doctors made the diagnosis after she broke her ribs in a fall over the summer.

In November, the icon’s publicist announced that she had canceled all her performances through May 2011.

RELATED: Recovering Aretha Franklin Visited by Rev. Jesse Jackson

On Dec. 2, the singer said she was doing well after having an operation for an unspecified ailment. “The surgery was highly successful,” Franklin, 68, said in a statement. “God is still in control.” The surgery followed a community prayer vigil in Franklin’s hometown of Detroit the previous day.

Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Franklin in the hospital days after her surgery and told The Detroit News that she was “recovering” and in high spirits.

The family also said that, at this time, she is doing “okay,” but they ask for continued prayers.