Unmasked: Daring Michael Jackson, out shopping in Beverly Hills without his famous surgical mask
Despite the diagnosis, Michael Jackson was seen without his famous mask as he shopped for toys with his three masked children in Beverly Hills yesterday. The singer looked in good spirits on his day out, it is believed that he has been told by experts that the cancer is treatable.
And aides say that the determined star is still set to perform his 50 sell-out UK comeback concerts at London’s O2 Arena from July.
It’s believed that the disease is linked with vitiligo – a skin problem that affects pigmentation, which the star says he had been diagnosed with in the 1980’s.
Experts have warned that anyone who bleaches their skin would increase their risk of cancer, but the famously pale star , has always strongly denied doing so.
A source told The Sun: ‘Michael’s test showed spots of skin cancer on his body, and cell which could turn to skin cancer on his face.
‘He was at first very concerned, but says he has been assured by the doctors that they can treat this and he will recover.
‘Michael is really looking forward to his concerts and is determined to wow his fans at each and every gig.
‘He said he’s insisted that any treatment must fit around the concerts, and the show will go on.’
Jackson is said to have been making regular visits to a dermatologist in Beverly Hills wearing a mask and surgical cap.
And weeks ago, he was seen at the Cedar-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, which has a specialist lab to test for such diseases.
The visit was widely reported after his car was in a collision with an ambulance when it arrived to pick him up.
Medical visits: Jackson pictured leaving a Beverly Hills health clinic on April 27
It is thought he will be treated by award-winning Santa Monica-based skin cancer surgeon Dr Ralph Massey, who was educated at Cambridge.
The superstar was already facing questions over his fitness for the 50 concerts at the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in Docklands, East London.
There are worries he is underweight and will struggle to complete the gruelling run of shows, which start on July 8.
But the star is determined to make the £150million This Is It residency work and is holed up in LA working on his dance moves.
The shows are expected to last more than two hours and are said to feature 22 different sets, many costume and a Moonwalk-style dance.
Phenomenal demand – at once stage, the website was attracting 16,000 visits a second – meant the run was expanded from 10 dates to 50.
The shows, which the Beat It singer has billed as his ‘final curtain call’, will be his first major live performances in 12 years.
His last live appearance, at the World Music Awards in 2006, ended after just a few lines.
It is the latest in a long line of reported skin problems for the star.
He was reportedly diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus, which both cause colour loss, in the late 1980s. But it is suspected by some that the star bleached his own skin.
Last year, a fan put a skin whitening cream said to have been used by the singer up for sale on eBay.
Jackson is also thought to have had ten cosmetic surgery operations to his face, notably on his nose which has become distinctly thinner in recent years. In 2002, it began showing the first signs of disintegration.
Last night, agents representing Michael Jackson did not deny he had the illness.
A spokesman for his publicist Dita Miller said: ‘I cannot comment on this issue. I am afraid there is nothing more to add at this time.’
His New York-based lawyers, L Londell McMillan, said: ‘We don’t speak about these sorts of things. I cannot say any more.’