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Grandfather of Pop Star Miley Cyrus Died of Mesothelioma Cancer

Miley Cyrus is beloved by children everywhere as the star of the hit Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana,” in which she plays a girl who attends school by day, and performs as a pop star by night. Her father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, also plays her father on the Hannah Montana TV show.

In a recent interview, Miley and her father talked about their hit show, their upcoming movie, and the sad circumstances surrounding the death of Miley’s grandfather.

Coming up from humble southern roots, the Cyrus family has certainly made their relatives proud with their newfound wealth and fame. But there has also been great sadness in the Cyrus family.

Billy Ray Cyrus, best known for his hit single “Achy Breaky Heart”, was close with his father Ron, a steelworker. Ron left the metal works trade to return to college. Ron Cyrus went on to become a leader of the AFL-CIO, and a Kentucky state legislator after that.

Unfortunately, Ron Cyrus contracted mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that can affect the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. It is likely Ron may have come into contact with asbestos when working with steel. Asbestos, a known carcinogen, is linked to mesothelioma, as well as lung cancer and asbestosis. When inhaled, asbestos fibers can work their way into soft tissues, resulting in the development of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma develops decades after the initial exposure to asbestos fibers. By the time the disease is diagnosed, the patient may only have months left to live.

Ron and Billy Ray traveled to Boston to seek treatment for the disease. Billy Ray told the interviewer that the only thing that infuriated his father more than his medical condition was “when the Red Sox traded Johnny Damon to the Yankees.”

Ron Cyrus died from mesothelioma on February 28, 2006.