Kanye West’s father has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, sources confirm to PEOPLE.
“Kanye’s dad was diagnosed with cancer and is already receiving treatment,” a Keeping Up with the Kardashians source tells PEOPLE. “He seems to be responding well to the treatment and everyone is hopeful he will be okay.”
“Kanye doesn’t really talk about it. You can tell it’s something that’s very difficult for him,” the source continues, adding that it’s been helpful for the 41-year-old to lean on his wife Kim Kardashian West and their three children for support.
“When his mom suddenly passed away, Kanye was all alone. Having Kim and the kids around him helps in difficult situations,” the insider says.
A source close to West tells PEOPLE, “Kim is helping to support Kanye during this tough time — they are always there for each other.”
TMZ was first to report the prostate cancer news.
West’s mother Donda died in 2007 at the age of 58, following cosmetic surgery complications.
In January 2008, the Los Angeles coroner determined that Donda died of heart disease while suffering from “multiple post-operative factors” after plastic surgery. However, the autopsy failed to determine the exact role the post-op factors played in her death following liposuction and breast-reduction surgery.
According to the autopsy report, Donda walked out of the clinic after 5½ hours of surgery, heavily bandaged, and was prescribed Vicodin for pain. She opted to receive post-op care at her home, though she was advised to be looked after at another facility, the report said. Shortly after the procedure, she experienced a sore throat, pain and tightening in her chest before collapsing. She was pronounced dead in the hospital’s emergency room, officials said.
Prior to the release of his latest album, Kanye shared that he wanted to use a photograph of the plastic surgeon as his album cover, and that he wanted to “forgive and stop hating.” The rapper ended up using a photograph he took on the way to a Wyoming listening party for the album’s artwork.
Kanye was raised by his mother in the Chicago neighborhood of South Shore, after she divorced his father Ray, a former Black Panther, when Kanye was 3.
West previously spoke about his relationship with his father on “Champion,” which appears on his second album Graduation.
“I ain’t saying we was from the projects / But every time I wanna layaway or deposit / My dad’d say ‘When you see clothes, close your eyelids.’ / We was sort of like Will Smith and his son / In the movie — I ain’t talking ’bout the rich ones,” he rapped.
West went on to add in the song that while he didn’t know “what he did for dough,” every summer his father would “send me back to school with a new wardrobe.”
Prior to the release of his 2016 album The Life of Pablo, West revealed that he “cried” while writing the track “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1.”
“I cried writing this,” he wrote in a since-deleted Tweet, according to Complex. “I love my dad.”