Social media tributes for American singer Traci Braxton (50) continue to pour in from across Mzansi. The news of the Braxton Family Values reality show star’s oesophageal cancer death was confirmed on Twitter over the weekend by her sister Toni.
Her husband, Kevin Surrat, confirmed his late wife’s year-long battle with cancer in the long, hollow tube that runs from ones throat to the stomach. He said, “We have come to a time where we must inform the public that after a year of privately undergoing a series of treatment for oesophageal cancer our beloved Traci Braxton has gone on to glory.”
According to United States media reports she was surrounded by her sisters and former Braxton’s band mates, Toni, Tamar, Towanda, and Trina as well as her mother, Evelyn.
‘She was a bright light’
Braxton and her sisters released their debut single Good life in 1990. Toni, the Grammy award-winning sister, left the group to become a solo artist and released her acclaimed debut album in 1993.
While the singing sisters continued their music journey, Traci took a break to raise her son, Kevin Surrat Jr. (26). She was also a social worker before the sisters reunited again for the television series that is also a top hit in South Africa.
Toni told her 1.7 million Twitter followers that Traci died as the snow was falling. “Our angel is now a snowflake. We ask that you respect our privacy as we plan to send her home with love, celebrating her life. We are family forever.”
The world mourns an icon
Following news about the superstar’s death, thousands have taken to social media to express their shock.
Early detection could be life-saving
Meanwhile, Dr Nosi Kalawe from the Western Cape notes that so-called non-communicable diseases, including diabetes and cancers, have been a leading cause of death among women for decades.
In South Africa, breast and cervical cancer are the most common cancers, according to the Cancer Association of South Africa. When it comes to cancers that lead to death, however, oesophageal cancer is responsible for the second highest numberof deaths in South Africa.
KwaZulu-Natal cancer survivor Rae Van Nieuwenhuizen stresses the importance of early detection.
According to Cansa’s website, there are a number of factors that cause irritation in the cells of the oesophagus which may increases the risk for cancer.
- Drinking alcohol. Smoking and drinking combined increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus 20-fold.
- Having bile reflux.
- Having difficulty swallowing because of an oesophageal sphincter that will not relax.
- Drinking very hot liquids.
- Eating few fruits and vegetables.
- Certain medicines given to asthmatics.
- Having gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.