December 18, 2017
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Larry King reveals he had surgery for lung cancer: ‘I never thought it would happen to me’

By Libby Hill, Los Angeles Times
Richard Drew | AP | BDN
Richard Drew | AP | BDN
Larry King arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Dec. 1, 2016. King says he battled lung cancer this summer but appears to have the disease at bay. The former CNN host, who is 83, told Us Weekly that a spot on his lung was noticed this summer during a routine check-up. He said he had surgery in July.

LOS ANGELES — Although he hasn’t smoked in 30 years, Larry King was reminded of the all-too-real consequences of tobacco use earlier this summer.

The octogenarian interviewer underwent surgery for lung cancer in July, he revealed to “People” in a story published Wednesday.

“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 said. “And by then it’s too late.”

King’s Stage 1 cancerous mass appeared in X-rays as a cloud on his lung. Doctors removed the malignancy through a surgical procedure that went in through his ribs, and after a week of recovery, King was back to work on the sixth season of “Larry King Now.”

The legendary broadcaster, 83, opted to be transparent with his latest health scare as a way to raise awareness.

“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 said. “I want people to make sure to get annual X-rays.”

King’s doctors attributed his lung cancer to his years of smoking three packs a day, despite stopping after his heart attack.

“I never thought it would happen to me. I saw all the warnings, but I never paid attention. I loved smoking, but when I had the heart attack that February of 1987, I stopped that day and never reached for one again,” he said. “It was easy for me because I got scared to death.”

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency LLC.

 


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