At the insistence of his family and personal physician, Merle Haggard had a
cancerous growth removed from his lung Monday at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.
Friends and associates of the country music icon said the surgery was a
success and he is in stable condition.
The 71-year-old country star and Oildale native had a malignant tumor, apparently
the same growth that was discovered in May, according to sources who
wished to remain anonymous.
Haggard told The Californian while on tour in August that he didn’t plan to
treat the growth, which was discovered May 5. He said he doesn’t trust hospitals
but, all along, family members wanted him to seek treatment.
“Of course, everyone wanted me at the Mayo Clinic, someone wanted me in Santa
Barbara (to) do this and that,” he told The Californian in August. “And they
said, ‘Oh, my God,’ and I said, ‘Well, I’m not gonna do anything.’”
At the time, he said it wasn’t cancerous and it hadn’t changed two months after the
discovery, but that doctors didn’t know what it was.
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