Larry King Opens Up About His Secret Lung Cancer Procedure


While Larry King may have previously kept quiet about his lung cancer diagnosis, he’s now sharing the details. Discussing a recent procedure that was intentionally kept a secret from the public, King shares the news that the operation was a success. Beyond that, Larry wants to urge others to take care of themselves and to be diligent in self check-ups and routine doctor visits, so they can catch problems early.
Larry King On Beating Lung Cancer
Catching his own lung cancer early on was just a stroke of luck, says 83-year-old Larry King. He attended a routine doctor’s visit that resulted in the physician finding a trace of cancer in his lung. The secret operation was then scheduled to have it removed, before it could spread any further.
“I didn’t have any pain, but when they took a chest X-ray the doctor said, ‘There’s a little cloud here,’” recalled King.
Later, Larry underwent a CT scan and a positron emission tomography scan. The tests enabled his doctor to diagnose stage 1 cancer. Larry admits he put off the procedure for two weeks, while he completed a European speaking tour, which he had already scheduled. Upon his return to the United States, Mr. King resigned himself to the procedure, though kept the news quiet from most.
Early Detection Is Vital, Says Larry King
Mr. King receives annual chest X-rays as a part of his regular check-ups and that precaution helped him identify the stage 1 lung cancer, before it progressed much further. He says the doctors told him he was fortunate the cancer was spotted, because there are usually no symptoms, until it has progressed into the later stages.
Larry quit smoking 30 years ago, kicking a 3-pack a day habit, but his doctor told him the damage had already been done by that point. He acknowledged that, even in his youth, he knew the risks and saw the warning signs manifest themselves, but never paid any intention. King admits he enjoyed smoking too much to consider its perilous effects.
A heart attack in the 80s woke Larry King up to the dangers of his habit.
“I loved smoking but when I had the heart attack that February of 1987 I stopped that day and never reached for one again,” says Mr. King. “It was easy for me because I got scared to death.”
The same year that Larry suffered his heart attack, he was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Later, in 1999, he was also diagnosed with prostate cancer.


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