INFINITE’s Nam Woohyun reveals his hidden battle with rare cancer

In the lead-up to the release of his album Whitree, INFINITE member Woohyun has revealed that he was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer called GIST, but kept his battle hidden in order to not worry fans.

During a recent media interview at a café in southern Seoul’s Gangnam District, the 32-year-old revealed that he underwent surgery in April after being diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).
“GIST is an extremely rare form of cancer, which is known to affect only 10 out of 1 million people,” said Nam. … “In my case, the urgency of surgery was non-negotiable, so I quickly held my fan events and performances in January and February before undergoing surgery,” he added.

The mentioned procedure he had to undergo sounds … well, horrific.

“I later realized that the scale was more extensive than I had thought,” he recalled. “After the surgery, I had to refrain from drinking water for almost three weeks and got a 20-centimeter scar on my stomach. I even had to attach a blood bag.”

Thankfully, he seems to be alright now, albeit potentially permanently altered due to his battle.

“My doctor told me that I might not be able to regain my past singing ability,” he revealed. “My musical journey has become four to five times more challenging as I currently suffer from breathing problems when I perform. While it may seem premature to resume my musical activities, I still made a swift comeback because I couldn’t delay it any longer. I wanted to show my fans my improved state.”

Still, Woohyun talked about his experiences with cancer and taking inspiration from his scare.

“In addition to the support from my parents, the elderly whom I encountered at the hospital offered tremendous encouragement to me,” he said. “The nurses, in their caring manner, also inspired me to recover, release new music and pursue my passion as a singer.”

“I feel as if I were reborn after the surgery,” he said. “My thoughts have deepened and I’ve achieved musical maturity. My first album following my battle against cancer encapsulates much of this journey. For those who are facing hardships in their lives, I hope my music can serve as a source of courage, inspiring them to overcome challenges like I did.”

In particular, he highlighted “I’ll Be Alright” off his upcoming album.

“I wrote and composed the entire song,” he explained. “It embodies my sincere emotions, expressing the challenges I met this year battling the disease and grappling with diminished self-esteem. When I contemplated quitting (my job), I penned this song with the hope of uplifting anyone who listens to it. I want them to receive a message of enduring hope, even in the face of hardships and sadness.”

Well, needless to say, this is shocking news and I’m glad that it seems he’s cancer-free now. Hopefully it’ll stay that way, and I also hope he continues to be open about his experience and outlook, as I think it can help others. From my experience (family/friends), the mental aspect is just as important as the treatment but is commonly overlooked, so it’s great that he’s speaking up.


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Thot Leader™