Virgil Abloh’s cause of death revealed as rare form of cancer

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Notable fashion designer and Rockford native Virgil Abloh passed away Sunday at 41-years-old.

Abloh made history in 2018 by becoming the first black artistic director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton. He was battling an aggressive cancer of the heart known as cardiac angiosarcoma.

The disease can lead to tumors that restrict blood flow from the body to the heart. Doctors said the rare form of cancer often goes undetected, and that there is not an easy screening process.

Patients typically live one to five years after being diagnosed.

“It is incurable,” said Dr. Martine Schultheis of OSF HealthCare. “However, it depends on the location of that tumor and the extent of the tumor. Some surgeons can remove the tumor depending on how big it is and where its located. Sometimes you have to do a heart transplant. It really varies on a case by case basis.”

Symptoms of the disease include difficulty breathing, chest pain, lightheadedness and swelling of the lower body. Anyone experiencing those issues should see a doctor as soon as possible.

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