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OTRC: Aretha Franklin out of hospital, has not commented on cancer reports

Aretha Franklin appears in an undated 2007 photo. (flickr.com/photos/ktkatrina)

Aretha Franklin was recently released from a hospital after undergoing a mysterious medical procedure and has not addressed recent reports that say she has pancreatic cancer.

In November, the 68-year-old "Queen of Soul" canceled all concert dates and personal appearances through May 2011 by order of her doctors. She has not specified the nature of her illness or her December 2 surgery, which was deemed successful.

"I've been at home for almost three days now," Franklin said in a Wednesday statement carried by the Detroit Free Press, which is based in her hometown. "My family and friends who brought me home are taking great care of me. I also have a private nurse who visits on a daily basis."

"I'm hoping to be strong enough to go out and see the upcoming Sam Cooke play at the Music Hall in downtown Detroit before Jan. 2, as well as a performance of 'Dreamgirls' at the Fox before it closes," she added.

The newspaper quoted the singer's spokesperson as saying Franklin is in "great spirits and very happy to be home where she will be resting in anticipation of spending the upcoming holiday season with her family."

Her cousin told the Detroit Free Press earlier this month that Franklin will perform again in 2011 and was "doing better than doctors expected".

Recent reports out of Detroit have said Franklin is battling cancer, echoing recent reports by other media outlets in Detroit. The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News said the disease is in her pancreas.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and is difficult to treat because it is often found late, as symptoms are usually not apparent in its early stages, according to the National Institutes of Health. Actor Patrick Swayze died of the disease at age 57 in 2009.

Risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include smoking, hereditary disorders, chronic pancreatitis and long-term diabetes. Franklin has for years been overweight, a condition that can lead to several health ailments, including Type 2 diabetes and various forms of cancer.

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