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Black Eyed Peas Star Reveals Private Battle With Cancer

Black Eyed Peas star Taboo has opened up about his private battle with cancer in the latest issue of PEOPLE, revealing that, at first, he thought he was just run down and suffering from the flu.

"It all started with a pain in my back and abdomen," the singer, whose real name is Jaime Luis Gomez, explained. "I was so busy working that I wasn't worried about it, but I went to the emergency room to get checked out."

A diagnosis of stage 2 testicular cancer called for immediate action; Taboo was rushed into surgery the very next day to remove "the mothership".

"My family and the group were all in shock, but will.i.am instantly reached out to a great doctor who helped me figure out a treatment plan," he said. "I was racing against the clock."

That treatment plan involved 12 weeks of "intensive, aggressive" chemotherapy, something he chose to keep out of the public eye until he felt strong enough again.

"There were times that I wanted to give up, but I became inspired by sports figures who have gone through similar battles," Taboo continued. "I began channeling my energy into the thing that keeps me alive and spirited: music.

"I wanted to share my story and inspire others like those who had inspired me.

"I've been cancer-free for over two years, but the real battle isn't over.

"There are millions going through things like this, and I want to remind them that we don't curl up into a ball when we have a trial or tribulation.

"We get up and fight."

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