Aretha Franklin

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Aretha Franklin's family is asking for a little respect.

In response to a National Enquirer report that the Queen of Soul is suffering from pancreatic cancer, her cousin would only say that the ailing diva "is doing better than doctors expected."

Which isn't a denial, unfortunately.

"She has a long life in front of her and will be back in concert, on stage, late spring or early summer," cousin Brenda Corbett told the Detroit Free Press. "This girl is doing great and [the media] need to stop [speculating]."

Added sister-in-law Earline Franklin: "Aretha is doing absolutely wonderful. All the prayers and well wishes have supported her and she's doing well."

Having already scrapped six months of her touring schedule, the 18-time Grammy winner underwent surgery for an undisclosed cause last week. Fans held a prayer vigil for the diva in downtown Detroit the night before her operation, which Franklin said afterward was "highly successful."

Meanwhile, a source told the Detroit News that Franklin does have pancreatic cancer, the same condiiton Patrick Swayze suffered from, while the city's Fox 2 News cited a "close relative" in reporting the same thing.

Franklin's rep has not commented on the cancer reports.

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