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Tammy Faye diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer

Tammy Faye Messner

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Jim Bakker
Tammy Faye Messner
Larry King

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Tammy Faye Messner, the former wife of televangelist Jim Bakker, announced Thursday night she has inoperable lung cancer.

Messner, a guest on CNN's "Larry King Live," said she was told of the diagnosis two weeks ago.

"They can't take it out because it's too near the heart and there are too many blood vessels that are near the cancer," Messner said.

She said she will begin chemotherapy treatment soon.

For years Messner and Jim Bakker were Christian television's most prominent couple.

In 1989, Bakker was sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding their followers of millions.

Messner's popularity continued to grow and in 2000 a documentary film, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," was released to critical acclaim.

The film was billed as the other side of the Tammy Faye story, the one opposite the story that played out in the tabloids.

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