WASHINGTON: American television and radio host Larry King says he was diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer and had successful surgery this summer.
In an interview, King revealed he first learned he had cancer during a routine doctor visit.
"I go for my checkup and they say, 'Let's do a chest X-ray, and the doctor said to me, 'Something looks funny,'" the 83-year-old told People magazine.
"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.'"
“They said I was lucky and smart to get annual chest x-rays because lung cancer doesn’t give you any signs until it’s in late stages,” King says. “And by then it’s too late.”
The ‘Larry King Now’ star returned to have surgery after two weeks to remove the malignant mass.
“They went in through my ribs with a tiny camera and snipped it out,” King says. “I only had a little pain and some shortness of breath but once my speech is back full – and that took about a week – I went right back to work.”
The legendary interviewer hopes that his recent health scare will serve as an example for others to get regular medical checkups.
“When I had my heart attack and was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes [in 1987] and prostate cancer [in 1999,] I talked about it and felt that I helped a lot of people,” King says. “I want people to make sure to get annual x-rays.”