Larry King disclosed a secret lung cancer diagnosis on Wednesday, explaining that doctors found a spot on a routine chest x-ray that turned out to be malignant.
“It was really strange,” King said in an interview on “Extra.” “Part of my checkup is the chest X-ray, and that is the protocol. I do it every year… it was always normal. Then the doctor says, ‘I see a little spot here. Let’s do a CAT scan, so they do a CAT scan, and they say, ‘Let’s do a PET scan’… I don’t think there are any other scans.”
The spot turned out to be stage 1 lung cancer, and King underwent surgery in July to have it removed. Within two weeks, he was back at work on “Larry King Now.”
“I had no clue at all,” he said. “If I had not had the chest X-ray, it would have progressed.”
King encouraged viewers to get regular check-ups, saying that is what saved him from what could’ve been a much worse prognosis had it gone undetected. From now on, King will have to get a chest x-ray every six months to make sure he stays in the clear.
“I smoked for thirty years,” he said. “The day of the heart attack, I never smoked again, and I smoked three packs a day — I smoked in the shower … Thirty years later, I said to the doctor, ‘Is this connected with that?’ Absolutely.”
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