The singer shares details of her health scare – but dodges the pancreatic cancer question

By Rennie Dyball
Updated January 06, 2011 04:35 PM
Matthew Jordan Smith

Aretha Franklin is opening up a bit about her health after her mystery surgery last month, though she still refuses to answer the million-dollar question.

“I am not going to even deal with that,” Franklin, 68, tells JET of the reports that she has pancreatic cancer. “I don’t have to talk about my health with anybody other than my doctors.” But, she adds, “The problem has been resolved.”

Whether that means she does or does not have the disease that took Patrick Swayze’s life in 2009 remains to be seen – and the Queen of Soul seems unlikely to speak out on the matter.

“I am not one to do a lot of talking about my personal health or business,” she said. “There are a lot of people who will talk about anything, as long as there is somebody listening. That’s not Aretha.”

She does, however, urge her fans to take care of themselves, based on her own experiences.

The singer recalls having “a very hard pain in my side” at a Toronto concert last year. She assumed it was related to a recent colonoscopy, but her doctor thought otherwise and urged her to have a CAT-scan.

“Thank God he said that because that unfolded everything, what the problem was and everything,” she says, encouraging fans to keep a close eye on their own health.

“If there is anything happening with you that is uncommon and something that you know should not be happening, go to your doctor,” says Franklin. “Be determined to find out what is going on.”

As she continues recuperating, the singer adds that she is grateful for her supportive fanbase.

“I want to thank my fans and friends and supporters who have prayed for me and sent me beautiful cards and flowers,” she says. “Please continue to respect my privacy as I continue to recover.”