(CNN) -- Bryant Gumbel made an unexpected announcement Tuesday morning as a guest host on "Live! With Regis & Kelly." The host of HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" had surgery two months ago to remove a malignant tumor on his lung.
Gumbel, 61, appeared on the morning talk show to fill in for Regis Philbin, who recently underwent a successful hip surgery. Gumbel, a cigar smoker, brought up his surgery after chatting with co-host Kelly Ripa about his inability to dance.
"I can't," he said. "I have a note from my doctor."
The former "Today" show host explained to viewers that he has told few people about the surgery in which part of his lung was removed.
"They opened up my chest; they took a malignant tumor, part of my lung and some other goodies," he said. "The pathology on most of the stuff came back benign but enough aggressive cells had escaped the tumor that it warranted some treatment."
Gumbel kept the treatment close to the vest. "We had told a few people. We told my family, obviously," Gumbel said. "I even kept it from my staff at 'Real Sports.' "
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States, but it's also the most preventable, according to the American Cancer Society. Gumbel said he and his doctor are hoping his treatment is complete.
"I'm OK for the time being," Gumbel told the audience.
He added that he'll see his surgeon next week and said he's even hoping he'll get the green light to hit the links again.