Tags: Chad | Everett | death | lung | cancer | alcohol | drinking

Chad Everett’s Death: Did Alcohol Cause ‘70s Hearthrob’s Lung Cancer?

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 03:12 PM

Chad Everett quit drinking a quarter-century ago, but the cause of the hunky TV doctor’s death on Wednesday from lung cancer could date back to his hard-drinking days in the years when he was despondent after his TV fame ebbed.
Everett, best known for his 1970s role as the ruggedly handsome surgeon Joe Gannon in “Medical Center,” died Wednesday at age 76 after an 18-month long battle with lung cancer. He kicked drinking in 1986, and spoke candidly about his battle with alcohol and the pride he took in achieving sobriety.
Although it is unclear whether Everett smoked, studies show that heavy drinking raises lung cancer risk in both smokers and nonsmokers.
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the U.S., taking the lives of some 160,000 people each year, with about 85 percent of those cases attributable to current or past tobacco use.
Although Everett had a long career in movies and TV, he never achieved the success he did in the ‘70s, as the scrubs-wearing sex symbol whose impression on a generation of women was indelible.
In a 1994 interview with “People” magazine, he revealed that he had a quart-a-day vodka habit, but had been sober for eight years, deciding to quit after seeing himself drunk on camera rehearsing for Jerry Lewis’s Muscular Dystrophy telethon.
The very next morning, he went to his first Alcohol Anonymous meeting and he had remained sober ever since, he said.
Heavy drinkers have a 30-40 percent great chance of getting lung cancer, regardless of their smoking history, according to a major study of 126,293 patients by the Kaiser Permanente health system in Oakland, Calif. No link to lung cancer was found among moderate alcohol users.
Another study published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology” found that men who drank three or more drinks a day have a 41 percent increased risk of dying of any kind of cancer, and women raise their risk 20 percent by drinking two or more drinks a day.

Besides the highly rated “Medical Center,” which aired on CBS from 1969-1976, Everett’s career included roles in more than 40 films and TV series, including his last role in the still-running TV series Castle. His wife, the actress Shelby Grant, died after suffering a brain aneurysm last year.

© HealthDay

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Chad Everett's lung cancer may have been caused by his heavy drinking and alcoholism.
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 03:12 PM
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