Popular freelance TV presenter Mao Kobayashi is battling breast cancer, her husband, kabuki star Ichikawa Ebizo, said at a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday.
Rumors had been swirling about Kobayashi's health since Ebizo wrote on his blog on May 2 that she was ill. Kobayashi, 33, has not been seen in public for about a year. She and Ebizo, 38, were married in 2010 and have a daughter, Reika, 4 and a son, Kangen, 3.
Ebizo began the news conference, saying he'd get right to the point and that his wife was receiving medical treatment for a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer that was first diagnosed 20 months ago after several tests, Fuji TV reported. He said they had not planned to go public but after the tabloid Sports Hochi reported the story on Thursday, Ebizo wrote on his blog that he would hold a press conference later in the day.
Ebizo said Kobayashi had undergone chemotherapy and that she has good days and bad days. The couple are now discussing surgery options with doctors.
Ebizo spoke about the emotional pain his wife is suffering because she cannot be with their children who do not understand what cancer is and why their mother is in a hospital. But he said the entire family is determined to help Kobayashi fight the disease, Fuji reported.
Ebizo asked the media to give the family privacy and not follow them around when they go out.
Meanwhile, the National Cancer Center in Tokyo said breast cancer is on the rise among young mothers, accounting for about 20% of all cancers in women, NHK reported.© Japan Today