Big Ang was such a breakout star from the mafia-based reality show Mob Wives that news of her throat cancer diagnosis earlier this year was a huge blow to her massive fan base — and a new update offers no reprieve.
Those same Big Ang lovers were elated to hear that she was in remission after aggressive treatments, but the newest update for her battle against the disease hit hard. The Mob Wives star is once again showing signs of growth where the lemon-sized tumor in her throat was removed. Even more troubling, the cancer appears to have spread to other parts of her body, family members told TMZ.
Being one of the most notable faces of Mob Wives is none too small of an accomplishment for a reality show filled with some of the biggest personalities to come out of the medium. Big Ang became beloved for her deep voice, big lips, and no-holds-barred personality. It’s sad to think that that gravelly manner of speaking that endeared so many was actually sign of the cancer that would eventually pull her away from the spotlight.
Big Ang spoke with People Magazine in September about the painful difficulty of her medical treatments. She chose to go with surgery instead of chemotherapy treatments, something she described as “feeling like they took my head off and sewed it back on.” Always with a cigarette in her hand on Mob Wives, she spoke about how smoking was responsible for the condition she finds herself in — an activity she still remembers fondly despite the way it has affected her life.
“Things happen for a reason. I’d smoked for 40 years. No one could tell me what to do… [The tumor] was blocking my airway. I quit smoking the day I found out…The doctors are saying that I’m a very lucky person. I caught this at stage 2… It’s hard to just put down the cigarette and never look back. I enjoyed smoking. I miss it so much. But it’s over. Now I do the e-cigarette. It helps me, just to hold it in my hand.”
Despite the taxing difficulty of putting down tobacco after a lifetime of use, Big Ang also noted that she is finding inspiration in wanting to see her two children and first grandchild grow older. Still, she faces difficulties that require a massive lifestyle chance outside of dropping her habits to come out ahead of her cancer.
The Drunken Monkey bar, that served as the central hangout for the Mob Wives cast, was shut down by the state of New Jersey earlier this year when they found that Big Ang held a silent ownership in the venture despite it being illegal for her to do because of her previous felony conviction. She had spoken openly about managing the location on her spin-off series Big Ang in 2012, reported Staten Island Live.
Big Ang has also been referenced on countless other programs. Her quips were some of the most-talked about from Mob Wives on Joe McHale’s recently canceled The Soup. On the last season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, runner-up Pearl portrayed her in the celebrity impersonation “Snatch Game” episode to high praise from fans. The rising drag queen is no doubt crushed about the latest cancer news.
Aside from the tragic update to her cancer struggle, Big Ang has also been widely known in the press for her transformative plastic surgery. Critics of Kylie Jenner joked that she had come to resemble the Mob Wives character when she went through a lip-pumping procedure.
[Image via Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Caesars Entertainment]