We like to think of Larry King as indestructible. And, by all accounts, he is — but even the broadcasting legend has his health scares!
In the new issue of Us Weekly, the TV host revealed he was secretly diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.
The 83-year-old said he received the scary news during a routine doctor’s appointment, recounting:
“I go for my checkup and they say, ‘Let’s do a chest X-ray, and the doctor said to me, ‘Something looks funny.’ 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.'”
Thankfully, the doctor caught the Larry King Now host’s illness early. King underwent surgery on July 17 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
The surgery was successful — 20 percent of King’s lung was removed — however, doctors made a point to tell the TV host that he was “lucky” to have the spot discovered at an early, manageable stage:
“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.'”
Never one to take a break for too long, King returned to work after just two weeks of recovery. He added:
“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.”
While the news icon hasn’t smoked a cigarette since his heart attack in the late ├óΓé¼╦£80s, “the doctor said that tobacco from 30 years ago is still related to this lung cancer,” he told the mag.
Now that he’s cancer free, King has no plans of slowing things down — in fact, he has his sights set for Broadway:
“I’ve done everything I can do. I’ve done comedy, stand-up, I tell stories, I’ve written 15 books, I have done television [and] radio. I would like to do six months on Broadway. I’d like to do an evening with Larry King where I tell stories and take questions from the audience. … That would be on my bucket list.”
Looking ahead at the years to come, King admitted he could very well “die on the air,” musing:
“I have beaten so many things health-wise to feel this good now. I have no plans to retire. I’ve never ever felt better than I do now.”
Honestly, he’ll probably outlive us all!
[Image via Ora TV.]