'Mob Wives' Star Big Ang Says Stage 4 Brain and Lung Cancer Caused By Smoking

By McCarton Ackerman 02/16/16

Big Ang opened up to Dr. Oz about her cancer diagnosis, declaring that her decades-long smoking addiction is “positively” responsible for her current health status.

'Mob Wives' Star Big Ang Says Stage 4 Brain and Lung Cancer Caused By Smoking
Angela Raiola with Dr. Oz The Doctor Oz Show

In the exclusive interview set to air Tuesday, Big Ang (real name: Angela Raiola) urged viewers to either quit smoking or resist the urge to try it. The 55-year-old smoked cigarettes for 40 years, but quit in March after an initial diagnosis of stage two throat cancer. She underwent surgery last April to remove a tumor and all the lymph nodes on the left side of her neck, then had a similar procedure in June for the right side. But after being told last October that she was cancer-free, she was informed in December that the throat cancer had returned and spread to her brain and lungs.

Ang said her doctors confirmed that her ongoing battle was caused by her pack-a-day habit. However, her plea for viewers to quit is a sharp cry from previous declarations that she didn’t regret her former vice, even after her diagnosis.

“I don’t regret it,” she told TMZ last year. “I still love the thought of smoking. But it’s not worth it. I realize that now.”

However, after failing to respond to the chemotherapy treatments she began last month, the reality star is now hoping to turn tocannabis oil. Her sister Janine started a GoFundMe page to “help my sister to get this oil to help her at least be pain free. Angela cannot function to work anymore.” The GoFundMe page was launched on Feb. 2 and had a $25,000 goal, but has since raised nearly $45,000.

Ang has also been open about her previous forays with drugs. In 2001, she was caught selling cocaine during a DEA probe investigating a mob-related drug ring in NYC. She was one of 15 defendants charged in the case, but remained free on $100,000 bond while awaiting trial on six felony counts. In March 2013, Ang pleaded guilty to the top count of conspiracy to distribute.

She was sentenced that October to three years of probation and four months of home confinement. The terms of her deal were modified in July 2014 after the judge in her case ordered her to attend a drug treatment program.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.