Newsman Larry King is recovering after secretly undergoing lung cancer surgery.
Doctors noticed a spot on the 83-year-old’s lung during a routine check-up this summer (17) and decided to operate.
The TV legend tells Extra, “I have a check-up every year. I’ve gone through a lot in my life – I’ve had a heart attack and heart surgery. Part of my check-up 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 doctors didn’t know if the spot was malignant or benign, so they opted to operate in mid-July to remove it – just in case.
“They took it out. It was malignant,” he says. “They were going to take it out if it was malignant or benign. They tested it. They said, ‘You are fine.’ It was stage 1.
“I had no clue at all. If I had not had the chest X-ray, it would have progressed.”
He spent a week in hospital and a week at home before he returned to work.
The former CNN anchor tells the outlet he will now get a chest X-ray every six months, while revealing doctors confirmed his cancer scare was linked to his former habit of smoking three packets of cigarettes a day.
“I smoked for 30 years,” Larry adds. “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.”