NEW YORK — Larry King has been diagnosed with lung cancer, the legendary host told Extra, revealing that a routine trip to the doctor led to a surprising and scary discovery.
“I have a checkup every year. I’ve gone through a lot in my life: I’ve had a heart attack and heart surgery. Part of my checkup is the chest X-ray and that is the protocol. I do it every year… It was always normal,” he told the outlet.
“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.”
King, 83, said he underwent surgery at a Manhattan hospital in July. He said the surgery revealed the spot on his lung was malignant.
“It was stage 1,” he said.
King, who blames decades of smoking for the diagnosis, credited that routine check-up with possibly saving his life.
“I had no clue at all” that something was wrong, he said. “If I had not had the chest X-ray, it would have progressed.”
Going forward, King said, he’ll get chest X-rays every six months.
Extra reports that King is on the mend and healthy — and will continue to do the work he loves.
“I’ll die on the air probably,” he told the outlet, smiling.
The Brooklyn native has been broadcasting for 60 years as of 2017. He hosted his namesake interview program on CNN from 1985 to 2010. Currently, he’s hosting “Larry King Now” on Hulu and RT America, and “Politicking with Larry King” on the same channels.