Larry King reveals lung cancer diagnosis

Story highlights

  • King underwent surgery this summer
  • He is a former smoker

(CNN)Larry King has gone public with a recent cancer diagnosis.

In a statement to CNN on Thursday, King's rep said the legendary talk show host was "diagnosed with stage 1 Adenocarcinoma, the most common type of lung cancer, through a routine chest examination."
"He immediately underwent a successful surgery to remove the upper lobe and lymph node," the rep added. "Larry returned to work two weeks later, having just celebrated his 60th year in broadcasting. He looks forward to working for another 60 years and thanks everyone for their well wishes!"
    King, 83, talked to "Extra" on Wednesday about discovering over the summer he had lung cancer.
    "Part of the checkup is a chest X-ray and that is the protocol," King said. "I do it every year, it's always normal. Then the doctor says, 'I see a little spot here. Let's do a CAT scan.'"
    The CAT scan led to a PET scan, he said, and doctors found a spot they wanted to remove.
    King underwent surgery on July 17 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
    "They took it out," he said. "It was malignant."
    The former CNN talk show host said he had no idea prior to his annual exam that there were any issues.
    "If I had not had the chest X-ray, it would have progressed," he said.
    King has been open about his health issues in the past, including a 1987 heart attack and bypass surgery months later. He also has type 2 diabetes.
    In 1999, King was diagnosed with and successfully treated for prostate cancer.
    A former smoker who quit following his heart attack, King said he's sharing his lung cancer diagnosis to help others.
    "Get a chest X-ray," King said. "It takes two seconds."