Dolly Parton’s reclusive husband, Carl Dean, was at her side when the country queen suffered a secret medical crisis.
The National ENQUIRER has learned she was rushed to the hospital with kidney stones — but close friends fear she could be hiding an even more devastating secret: stomach cancer!
“Carl never accompanies her anywhere but he was with Dolly during her recent ordeal,” said a worried pal. “He’s been through a cancer battle with her before!”
According to the informant, Dolly, 69, was secretly hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville under an assumed name after suffering intense pain from kidney stones.
“So far, the treatments haven’t worked,” said the source. “She’s undergoing more testing. The scary thing is she has the symptoms of stomach cancer — and this is what she could be hiding.”
Dolly has battled health scares before — and has been plagued with cancer fears for years.
In a bombshell 2013 exclusive, The ENQUIRER revealed doctors implanted a groundbreaking medical device in the singer’s throat during a tense, complicated five-hour operation.
Terrified Dolly opted to undergo the experimental treatment after a sudden dramatic weight loss sparked fears that she was suffering from deadly esophageal cancer, a source said at the time.
Dolly insisted on keeping her condition top secret!
“Dolly didn’t want her friends, family and fans to worry about her, so the radical throat procedure was done under the tightest secrecy,” an insider said.
Dolly has suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or severe acid reflux, for several years.
Heartburn, sore throats, hoarseness and coughs are often caused by acid reflux — but the condition can also lead to esophageal cancer, medical experts have warned.
During the five-hour operation — which was supposed to last two — “surgeons discovered masses of scar tissue, which had to be removed and biopsied for cancer cells,” said the source.
When it was over, she told friends there, ‘It went very well. I’m going to be fine.’ ”
But medical experts warned Dolly may not be completely cured, and she will need to undergo regular endoscopies to check for abnormalities.
Her new crisis is a chilling reminder for Dolly and Carl of the cancer scare.
“All the fears of her operation two years ago came back,” said the source. “She dodged a bullet then.”
But now, with her recent “unbelievable” pain, “she’s worried her luck has run out,” the source added.