Larry King Reveals He Was Recently Diagnosed With Lung Cancer

Sep 13, 2017 at 2:38 p.m. ET
Image: Michael Campanella/Getty Images

As someone who's been on our TV screens for 60 years, it's easy to think of Larry King as invincible. He's been there so long and he always will be, right? But the truth is that 83-year-old King has already had a pretty major health scare. He just revealed that he was diagnosed with lung cancer last spring and has kept it a secret until now.

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"I go for my checkup and they say, 'Let's do a chest X-ray, and the doctor said to me, 'Something looks funny,'" King recalled in a new interview with Us Weekly. "They said the spot looked pretty small [...] I then did a CAT scan then a PET scan and then he said to me, 'You have lung cancer, but it looks very small, in the beginning stages.'"

King was lucky. It was early on, and after surgery to remove part of his lung, he's cancer free.

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"The doctor said to me, 'It was malignant but you were in the first stage. If it had stayed and we didn't find it, you would have had trouble in two or three years, but we got it and you were lucky,'" he said, adding that he was only away from work for two weeks to recover. "They showed me my latest chest X-ray, which is all clear. It was fun to see where that spot was and there is no spot now. They took off 20 percent of the lung."

This isn't the first time the award-winning journalist has faced health problems. He's already beat prostate cancer. And King quit smoking after a heart attack in the late '80s, though his years of smoking before that are still to blame for his lung cancer scare this year, his doctor told him.

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For now, though, King is still broadcasting, and we're thankful for that.