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How Is Suzanne Somers Doing?

Aired April 24, 2001 - 21:00   ET



SUZANNE SOMERS, ACTRESS: I chose your show to come on tonight to talk about something that is very, very hard for me to talk about, that I have never told anyone. In last year, I have been battling and surviving breast cancer.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, barely a month after going public with a very personal story and stirring up a fuss with some of her medical choices, how is Suzanne Somers doing? We'll find out firsthand, because she is with us for an hour and we're taking your calls. Suzanne Somers, next on LARRY KING LIVE!

Suzanne is with us tonight from our studios in New York. One note before we begin: this Thursday night on LARRY KING LIVE, Commander Scott Waddle in his first live prime-time interview, the commander of the sub that hit that Japanese ship, Commander Waddle first live prime-time interview for the full hour Thursday night on LARRY KING LIVE.

Suzanne Somers is with us tonight. She has a new book out, it's called "Eat, Cheat and Melt the Fat Away." She has become synonymous with losing weight in America. She was tragedy the subject of a front page story in a tabloid about liposuction that the writers did not know we're dealing with breast cancer, rather than with making her look better. She is the subject of a front page story in "People" magazine this week: "Is she risking her life?"

We welcome Suzanne Somers to LARRY KING LIVE. What has it been like this past month?

SOMERS: Well, thanks to you, Larry, I now have the most famous breasts in America. I have kicked Pamela Anderson right out of the box!

KING: Are you surprised at the reaction?

SOMERS: Oh, it has been -- it has been stressful, and it has been touching, and making me anxious, and this affection that has been coming at me is -- just startled me. You know, I have been quietly doing my thing for the past 20 years. And I know that I have my own factions of audiences that you don't know the cumulative effect, and people have been unbelievable. Just unbelievably kind.

KING: Now, you originally had scheduled time to promote this book, right? And you realized as you go around talking about a book about eating, cheating and melting fat away, you are going to be asked about this more than that.

However, you also are going to get an awful lot of attention focused on yourself, way beyond what a book publisher would count on.

SOMERS: Yes, my publishers...

KING: Two swords here, right?

SOMERS: Yes, but you know, I really felt that when I came on your show, I had no choice because if I hadn't gone public with the breast cancer, my entire book tour would have been about tabloid stories. And you know, you have written books. I work all year on these books, and when they come out, you have a week or so to make sure that everybody knows about it. So, it is number one on, so thank you, Larry.

KING: All right, let me show you something, which I know you were quoted in "People" saying did affect you a little. When the famed Dr. Andrew Weil was on this program, the Harvard-educated physician who is very big into alternative medicine, said this about you. Watch.


DR. ANDREW WEIL, ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE EXPERT: Chemotherapy -- I think the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. In breast cancer, unfortunately, this is right in the middle of an area of great medical uncertainty, and these decisions are very difficult. I would lean toward doing the chemotherapy, and using other treatments to reduce its toxicity and increase general health.


KING: Now, Suzanne, you were -- how are you affected by that statement?

SOMERS: Well, I was lying in bed channel-surfing, and there I turn to the two of you talking about my health. So when I go over that -- he did say something -- some of the things he said I don't agree with. But he did say that a tumor of my size has been growing for about 10 years, which my doctors had told me that. This had been growing inside me for about a decade. And because the margins were clean, they removed so much of my breast, and because they did the sentinel node biopsy in my lymph nodes, and didn't find any additional cancer there, I felt that I was -- I was pretty free and clear if I did radiation -- then I will probably discuss my other choices.

But when he said that, it made me think, and then I was reading "Bizarre" magazine this month, and they have a big article in there about breast cancer, and of course I was really interested. And it mentioned the fact, once again, that there can be rogue cells, even though in a good prognosis like mine where you get it in time, they remove the tumor, they remove the tissue surrounding it, they remove the lymph nodes, that there still could be rogue cells.

So, I am looking into doing that test. It is a bone marrow test where they inject a needle into your hip and extract bone marrow and they can tell if there are any rogue cells, although the...

KING: And if there are rogue cells, you would then do what? God forbid.

SOMERS: Well, the only treatment that I have read about that is available if you do find rogue cells is chemotherapy. So you know, one step at a time, but -- you see, this whole thing that I was trying to say to you that night -- I was so flustered being with you because I had never said it out loud, I had never said it publicly, and -- I -- that was the most off guard I think I have ever been on television with you.

But I did some of the things that my doctors told me. I did take the massive doses of radiation. So if we find more cancer cells in me, as much as I personally dread it, I believe that I probably would take the chemotherapy because I want to live.

KING: When are doing the bone marrow test?

SOMERS: Well, I don't know. You know, I just -- I have been on the book tour, and I read this on the plane coming here. So, I have talked to my doctor in Los Angeles, and -- Dr. Silverstein -- and he said that he does that test. So when I get back, I'm going to go see him, and -- you know.

KING: Let's -- let's show you a compilation of some of the things that were said following your appearance. Watch.



LEEZA GIBBONS, HOST, "EXTRA": Suzanne Somers makes a shocking announcement about her health.

How are you. Welcome to "Extra." I'm Leeza Gibbons.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suzanne Somers' life-threatening battle tops our Hollywood Headlines.

SOMERS: I never told anyone in the last year I have been battling and surviving breast cancer.


KING: Now, a lot of the critiques you got were about that alternative medicine you were using, it's called what again?

SOMERS: Iscador.

KING: Iscador. Are you continuing to use that?

SOMERS: Yes. Yes. And I will...

KING: That is where you inject yourself every day, right?


KING: And there was an uproar in some elements of the medical community over use of that.

SOMERS: Well, that was -- that was part of the difficulty of this, that it was difficult enough to come public with something so private, that I never expected this backlash, this stoning, from the Western medical establishment. But -- because I would think that we are all looking for all the alternatives, you know. I straddled the fence between Western, Eastern and holistic medicine. And if I can heal first with Eastern and holistic, I would rather go there than take chemicals. I'm very anti-chemical, that is what my books are about.

But it was pretty intense to hear people, you know, putting me in the coffin, more or less, without really having ever seen my pathology report, without talking to my doctors, without talking to me, and knowing the -- I gathered information from a very intelligent point of view. I gathered from everybody, from all the specialists, and I just the tamoxifen, this after-drug that they wanted me to take, which is what seems to upset the Western medical establishment the most, and the fact that I didn't take chemotherapy.

I just found the side effects with tamoxifen unacceptable for me. But again, I have to keep saying this to you, Larry, I don't want any women out there to do what I'm doing, because again as I said, I'm banking on the fact that this is working, but it is my life, and I don't want anyone to do what I'm doing. Five years from now, I will come on your show and say, here I am, and, you know, I beat it my way.

KING: Let's all hope that happens. We'll be right back with more of Suzanne Somers. She's with us for the full hour. We'll be taking your calls as well, don't go away.


KING: We are back with Suzanne Somers. Before we talk about the book, take calls, and the like, some other things to touch on. You came on because the tabloid had said you had liposuction, and was seemed to imply you were doing this for reasons to because you were overweight, to lose weight, to sell a book, because Suzanne Somers can't be overweight. Some though, following your revelations, said they never heard of liposuction connected with breast cancer. So, can you explain what it was done for?

SOMERS: Well, then again, here they are, you know, not having read my chart, not knowing what's going on, and we are talking about a tabloid story. You know, they put aliens on the cover. So, I, you know, I explained over and over there was a swelling from the radiation and they removed fluids that wouldn't go away. That is all it is. I'm...


KING: Hold it, Suzanne, we're going to get a break because in New York, the microphone isn't working. We will correct that...

SOMERS: Now it is.

KING: All right. We are hear you now. OK.


KING: Thank you New York. Go ahead.

SOMERS: OK. What did you hear?

KING: Nothing.


KING: I heard scrambled.

SOMERS: OK. Well I said that, you know, here we are talking about a tabloid story again, and, you know, they put aliens on their cover. This is -- they haven't seen my chart, they don't know what was going on, and I explained several times now that there was an edema, a swelling of fluids that wouldn't go away, and my doctor said they would away and they didn't.

So I had the fluids removed; that is all I did. I weigh 120 to 125 pounds. I did before cancer, I did before liposuction. That's what I weigh right now. In fact, actually, in the last couple weeks, because of all this, I have lost a little weight, but I thought it was ironic when they showed the picture of me at the Oscar party which was after the liposuction, I looked kind of fat.

So, their job is to stir it up, and they are good at it, they're really good, and they made my life pretty miserable.

KING: By the way, is it lipo, not lipo?

SOMERS: I don't now. You say lipo, I say lipo.

KING: You say either, I say either.

SOMERS: I didn't have enough of it to know, you know, exactly how to pronounce it. Larry, I went in the front door of that clinic, a guilty person does not walk in the front door. So, you know, I waited out...

KING: I think everybody understands that now. What's been the effect on your family? You had a sister who had breast cancer once, right?

SOMERS: Right.

KING: What's been the effect on family, and friends when you become an international topic of conversation?

SOMERS: Well, they, you know, my only my closest circle of most intimate friends and family have known that I have been battling breast cancer, and, so they all felt naturally very protective and they kind of came around me like a cocoon. It was, you know, it was described to me in a way that I felt that night, I felt like I was forced to unzip, if you know it were mean.

And it was an extremely vulnerable experience, especially since I had wanted to keep this private, because I don't think I really have much to say about breast cancer until what's actually four years from now when they doctor says you are cool, you are clear, you are clean. And I really can't say that yet. Even though they have removed the cancer from me, you know, there is a high recurrence rate with cancer.

KING: What about it is -- effect do you think -- and maybe it's too soon to tell -- of your influence on the public? We will know, if the book sells well, whether you still have influence with regard to people, dealing a book that dealing with a healthier life on someone who's sick who has written it. I mean -- seems kind of conflict with itself.

SOMERS: Well, you know, I mean there are two and half million people on my program, and, I'm sure -- I'm sure somebody will call in tonight and talk about the positive effects of eating the way that I eat. And my cancer has nothing do with the way I have been eating. And that was one of the things that I really wanted people to know. It is just -- this -- I have a genetic predisposition. It is in my family. And, you know, my family has been great.

KING: Has the public been supporting you? Have you heard from a lot of people?

SOMERS: People, they're leaving flowers at my gate and sticking notes in the bushes, and, it -- I didn't know that the people cared. And it is really extremely touching. I have been on a television series in one form or another in the American home for 21 years of actual on the air series. And I guess after all those years of being in people's homes I'm part of the family and I am kind of open.

KING: You are. We'll be right back with -- kind of -- we'll be right back with Suzanne Somers. Don't forget, Thursday night, first live prime time interview with Commander Scott Waddle. That is Thursday night on "LARRY KING LIVE." Right back with Suzanne after this.



SOMERS: Now the magazines are picking it up and calling it "thighgate" and then John Ritter did some really low class joke on the "Morning Show" and Howard Stern has picked up on it, and each day it is like a -- a stab in my heart.


KING: We contacted John Ritter, Suzanne, and he said -- here's his statement he issued: "My view regarding any tabloid story is to put it down and stomp it. I had no idea of the gravity of Suzanne's condition, I apologize from the bottom of my heart if I caused her any further pain by my ill-informed remarks."

Response to that?

SOMERS: It is so -- I love John and I'm so glad he said that. I totally accept his apology. He couldn't have known, so -- it is not a problem, John, if you are watching.

KING: You mentioned Western medicine and obviously it's conflict with Eastern medicine. Does a part of you, though, a part of you having been raised in the West, with conventional doctors and conventional medicine, when you are alone or go to sleep at night, say to yourself, what if I'm wrong? So I would have lost my hair, so I would have thrown up a little? That is the way other people are doing it. That is the way most people want to do it this the West. What if I'm wrong?

SOMERS: You see, that is the thing about the doctors who have been throwing stones at me. I think one of the most dangerous things that can happen when you are healing yourself is to allow fear to enter your being. I so believe in what I'm doing is right, that I don't allow fear to come into it because I think that that is when it starts winning.

So, I -- you know, I chose to do it my way, because this is what I believe. I believe that balanced hormones prevents disease. I believe balanced hormones build up the immune system. I believe that this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that I'm taking, even though they say there have been no conclusive studies on human beings, they are talking about American human beings, not European human beings.

Because there has been a study going on over there with 33,000 people. They are having incredible results, because I'm so afraid that people will do what I'm doing, I have to say, that I wouldn't take it in place of chemo. I just added it as a complement to my radiation, which the radiation was...

KING: Right, and that is traditional.

SOMERS: ... serious. Yes.

KING: And as you pointed out -- what are you doing to your mike?

SOMERS: I'm sorry. It fell off.

KING: OK, and as you pointed out...

SOMERS: It's these big bosoms I have.


KING: We've read about them.


If there is a rogue cell, you would go to some more conventional therapy.

SOMERS: I will.

KING: You would go to chemotherapy if there is. All right.

SOMERS: Yes. I so believe in...

KING: Jack -- oh, I'm sorry.

SOMERS: I believe in Western medicine. When called for, it's the best.

KING: The jacket on your new book points out "Suzanne Somers is one of the most respected and trusted brand names in the world." Do you think this would at all -- for example, you said you know the diet had no effect on this, that it's genealogical with you. There are some people who might think it did, that maybe the way you eat affected your getting cancer. Do you think this might affect credibility? Do you think?

SOMERS: But no, because even Dr. Andrew Weil, who -- who -- I really don't understand his take, because he's the father of alternative medicine that pairs up with Western. And I was surprised at him, frankly. But he did teach me something important that night, that I -- even Dr. Weil said, which concurred with my doctors, that my tumor is 10 years old. My books are not 10 years old. So it has nothing to do with it.

KING: Yeah, good point.

SOMERS: You know, it's in my -- it's in my family. You know, last night...

KING: And this had nothing to do with female vanity?

SOMERS: The chemotherapy?

KING: Yeah. Or did it?

SOMERS: Well, I also resented Andrew Weil saying, I don't see what's so bad about going bald, because, you know, he is bald, and you know, so it's an easy decision for him. But it wasn't all about my hair. I don't want to lose my hair, because hair has been a big part of who I am. But it wasn't about that, and I don't mean to be light about it.

It was that I was afraid of what this chemotherapy would do to my good cells. And if -- my books are all about healthy cells, about what we need to create a healthy cell. And I'm so -- I eat to create healthy cells and to have hormonal balance. And to then take some harsh chemical that even by Dr. Weil's -- the -- he even said, you know, it's the best we've got. He didn't say it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. He said it's the best we've got.

And that's what I kept coming up with as I was reading about it: Is this the best you've got? And if I don't have to have it, do I really want to do something that drastic to myself?

And so my one oncologist said you've got to have chemotherapy. My other oncologist said, because your margins are clean, I could be comfortable with just radiation. And my third oncologist said, you know, I'm on the fence. You know, I would go chemotherapy, but if you feel real strongly, I could be comfortable with radiation.

And so I think anybody would -- could have concurred. Wouldn't you?

KING: It's your life, Suzanne.

SOMERS: It is. I know. I know.

KING: "Whose Life Is It Anyway?" -- one of the great titles ever written.

SOMERS: You know, I...

KING: We'll be right back with Suzanne. Let me get a break. We'll come right back with Suzanne Somers. Her new book is "Eat, Cheat and Melt the Fat Away." We're going to ask her in a while what's new in this book that haven't been in her other books. And we'll be taking your phone calls as well.

This is LARRY KING LIVE with Suzanne Somers. Don't go away.


DR. ANDREW WEIL, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA: Suzanne mentioned that she was worried about losing her hair doing chemotherapy. There are actually some cases that I have of patients who did hypnosis or guided imagery -- that is a mind-body therapy -- while doing chemotherapy, and as a result of that were able to not lose their hair.



KING: We're back with Suzanne Somers. What's new in "Eat, Cheat and Melt the Fat Away" that wasn't in all the other books?

SOMERS: Well, I know more. You know, this whole way of eating is a science, and with each year that I'm doing it I just know more about it. And I'm going to get you eating lamb chops eventually, Larry.

KING: Now, have you changed your eating because of cancer?

SOMERS: Not at all.

KING: Not at all?

SOMERS: In fact, my doctor said over and over and over again thank god you always exercise, thank god you eat the way you eat. And I eat not only for weight, but so much of this program is about internal healing. You know, we really -- we really eat badly in this country. In fact, most people rarely eat real food. It's -- we eat things with hydrogenated fats and transfats and -- and -- I always tell people shop in the periphery of the supermarket with meat, chicken and fish, and dairy, and fruits and vegetables, because everything in the center has preservatives and chemicals in it.

So I'm trying to get people off of chemicals. My program won't harm you.


SOMERS: In fact...

KING: Lamb chops have fat, though.

SOMERS: I just -- I want to say last night I was at Rao's for dinner. You know that place?

KING: I know it well. Well, I was there once and I'll never forget the experience.

SOMERS: Incredible. So I walk in, and Frankie Pellegrino, who owns it, says what -- do I have to feed you mung beans and soy now? And I said no, no, no, you've missed the whole point.

I mean, I was at Rao's. I'd had the sweet peppers with the pine nuts, and then I had tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, and then I had veal piccata just swimming in the butter sauce, and a big salad with dressing on it. I mean, that's the way I eat. It's all real food, but I eat a lot of fats. And this whole book is about the fact, with medical studies backing it up now, that fat is your friend, sugar is the enemy.

Fat does not manufacture cholesterol. It's the excess sugar in your system that the liver manufacturers into cholesterol.

KING: How do you -- in your title, how are you defining "cheat"? What's a cheat?

SOMERS: Cheat is after you've lost your weight -- divided into level one and level two. After you've lost your weight in level one, eating what I just told you -- that was a level one meal. Then after you've lost the weight -- and you will -- then you move to level two, which allows you to cheat.

Cheating is incorporating the foods that you miss the most in moderation. Maybe it's a martini, maybe it's a couple glasses of wine. Maybe it's bread, maybe it's a simple dessert. And you are your own policeman, because it's all about your waistline.

If you can see your waist -- like you have to stand naked in front of the mirror, and whether you're thin or heavy, if you have -- if you are thick through the middle, that means you have an elevated insulin level. And so once your waistline reveals itself, it means you've gotten your insulin level down and now you can incorporate these foods. And your waistline and your pants are your policeman.

KING: Our guest is Suzanne Somers. We'll take a break, come back and go to your phone calls. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Suzanne Somers, her brand new book, "Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away." It's No. 1 on in Amazon already. Commander Scott Waddle, his first live prime-time appearance will be with us, Thursday night.

We're going to go to your calls. Suzanne, in "People" magazine you were quoted as saying about breasts, "All my life, my breasts have gotten me into trouble. When I was a model they were always too big. On 'Three's Company' I was queen of the jiggle. It seems like my breasts are a big part of me."

Does that bug you or not?

SOMERS: You know...

KING: Actually, you used them, didn't you? I mean, that's part of your schtick.

SOMERS: I've always loved my breasts. I mean, really, having breast cancer was devastating to me because, it's -- they are such a part of me. It's where I hold my husband. It's where I nurture my children, and my grandchildren. And I like the way they look. That was one of the big things, that because they were looking strange to me. I wanted to fix things up, you know. So...

KING: I think you -- you've got a right.

SOMERS: I've got a right. And you know, the other thing I just want to say about cancer is, you really can't know how somebody feels until you have walked in their shoes. And cancer is the heaviest -- it's the heaviest news that anybody can hear. And you really have to do what you have to do for yourself.

KING: Nothing's the same once you hear the word, right?

SOMERS: Nothing. I look at every flower differently. I look at every baby. I look at every sunrise and sunset. It's -- the blessings are starting to reveal themselves, and I -- you know, with Allen, we're so close. We've been together so long, and somehow, strangely, I didn't think we could get closer, and it's brought us closer together.

KING: Let's go to calls for Suzanne Somers. Pittsburgh, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Hi, Larry, hi, Suzanne.



CALLER: It's very staticky.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Suzanne, your relationship with your doctor, has it been strained? Have you found it difficult to relate to him since you have chosen treatment that he disagrees with you on?

SOMERS: Not at all. My doctors, Dr. Silverstein and Dr. Waisman, and -- their job is to give me the information. I think they have to be relieved at some point that they had a patient who took charge of her own cancer.

It's a heavy trip for doctors to tell someone you're going to have to do extremely harsh treatments. So they respected me all along and they know I'm not stupid, and they know that I'm very research- oriented, and a real searcher. And -- even -- I saw them being interviewed on television and they concurred with that. That it's not what they would have done or wanted me to do, but that they respect my decision.

And I continue to see them both every three months, and we have agreed to disagree. And -- but because of that they are monitoring me so closely, and I'm about to have one of those chest MRIs, and then, I'm looking into this bone marrow test.

So we're going to really stand -- I want to live. I want to live a long time. I -- this disease is not going to get me.

KING: When you say "looking into that test," shouldn't you actually just do it?

SOMERS: Yeah. Well, when I get home. I just read about it a week ago, Larry.

KING: Knoxville, Tennessee, hello? Knoxville, hello.



CALLER: I was wondering -- I am a two-year breast cancer survivor, and I am currently taking tamoxifen. And I was just wondering, what are the side effects that you were concerned about?

KING: You don't have any, ma'am?

CALLER: Pardon me?

KING: You don't have side effects?

CALLER: Yeah, I have side effects. I'm wondering which ones...

KING: Which ones Suzanne was worried about. OK, we're having a little phone problem. Go ahead, Suzanne.

SOMERS: The biggest side effect that bothered me the most was that it blows out your hormones. And, coming from where I come from, hormonal imbalance is -- when one hormone is out of whack, the whole system of hormones is out of whack. So that was a severe one for me, but not the one that was the most shocking.

The other one was that there possibly could be depression for five years, and that would happen to me. When my hormones are out of whack, I am not fun. So the idea being zeroed out did not appeal to me at all.

And the increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism by 40 percent did not appeal to me either, when it's only give a 10 percent chance -- better chance that it won't reoccur. So I didn't do this frivolously, and I think -- maybe I'm wrong. I don't want to take you off tamoxifen. Maybe I'm wrong, but those were my deciding factors there. And they were informed for me.

KING: Deer River, Minnesota, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Hi. Go ahead.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Go ahead.


CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Go ahead.


SOMERS: Could you ask the question?

CALLER: I'm having a little static on my line.

KING: Yeah, I know. We are having it. I thought it was fixed yesterday but apparently not. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes. The reason I'm calling -- first, Larry, I really enjoy your show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Yes, and for Suzanne, hi, Suzanne. I think you're one gutsy lady. SOMERS: Thank you. Thank you very much, .

CALLER: Yes. And the reason I'm calling: I understand that mammogram did not find your cancer.

SOMERS: Correct. That's probably the most important thing that I can say to women, is that -- I go every year. Since I turned 40, I have been going every year for mammogram. And I went this year also, and my doctor said, "Well, nothing there."

And I said, "I know that."

And as an afterthought, he came to me, he said, "You know, you have very dense breasts." He said, "I just got a new state-of-art ultrasound machine. I paid a half million dollars for it. Why don't we put you on that?" And that's where they found it, a 2.4- centimeter, which is pretty significant.

So, women should know: A, Early detection will save your life. And if you have dense breasts, your insurance will pay for the ultrasound also, and you should know that.

KING: And we'll be right back with more of Suzanne Somers on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE right after this.


DR. ANDREW WEIL, ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE EXPERT: Most every treatment that we use in medicine has an upside and a downside. And that is certainly true of these estrogen blockers like tamoxifen, which are widely used in breast cancer. They're not benign drugs.

So you have to do a risk-benefit analysis. In my view, the benefits of using tamoxifen, especially with a hormone-sensitive tumor, outweigh the risks.



KING: We're back with Suzanne Somers. Rapid City, South Dakota, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I have a little bit of static on this end of the line, but I'll try to get my question out.

KING: OK. Speak right up.

CALLER: OK. Suzanne, I heard you on a prior interview talking about a new product that you put out, which are truffles that are compatible with your eating program. I wondered if you could tell me how that is -- what's that comprised of and where we can get a hold of them?

SOMERS: They're probably the greatest thing I've ever brought to the American public. They're SomerSweet chocolate truffles, that will virtually cause no spike in your insulin levels, so they're great for diabetics, and they are really good. In fact, if I could get Larry to eat one, I'd be really happy.

KING: I'd eat it. I like chocolate.

SOMERS: Do you have any there? They're.

KING: Yes, I always carry around SomerSweet chocolate truffles. It's a habit of mine. I've got them in the car, I've got them in my clothes.

SOMERS: Here they are, Larry.

KING: Where do you get them?

SOMERS: You get them right now on HSN, the Home Shopping Network, and at the first of June, you can get them on, and eventually, they'll be in the stores. But I was looking for a sugar substitute, not -- I think these artificial sweeteners....

KING: How about sugar-free chocolates? You see them in stores.

SOMERS: But see, that's all chemicals. I have come up with something that is chemical-free, 99.9 percent chemical-free, no preservatives, won't spike insulin body, you body won't accept it as a carbohydrate, taste so delicious. If you have one there, taste one. It's so good. Even you can eat them.

KING: You don't -- do you believe in NutraSweet or Sweet'N Low?

SOMERS: I don't -- well, I don't like to take on any, you know, brand names, but all of these...

KING: What other names are there but those two?

SOMERS: Yes, I guess that's the main thing. All of these artificial sweeteners have chemicals in them. Chemicals are harmful. You know, it's -- if you can eat real food -- chemicals are introduced to your body through transfats, and the foods that we eat are so damaged. So, I am bringing you candy that diabetics can eat that people who are Somersizing can eat and not gain any weight.

KING: Send me some.

SOMERS: I will.

KING: People who are Somersizing?

SOMERS: Well, that's what..

KING: That's what call it. You're Somersizers.

SOMERS: What else am I going to call it? Larry Kingizing?

KING: No -- OK, don't be a wise -- Charleston, South Carolina, Hello. Charleston, hello.

CALLER: Yes, I had a quick question.

KING: Go ahead. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, I had a quick question and a comment. I'm going tomorrow for my third chemotherapy treatment. I also have breast cancer, and I, too, was concerned about side effects, but they offered me an alternative drug, and, like I said, I'm on third treatment I have not lost my hair. And it's only supposed to thin, which it has a little bit. But if that was the big factor, would you go ahead and go through with chemotherapy if you did not use your hair?

KING: What drug are you using, ma'am?

CALLER: It's called Doxil.

KING: Doxil, OK -- Suzanne.

SOMERS: Really, the hair is not biggest factor. The biggest factor for me was that it -- the -- I'm afraid of what it will do to my healthy cells, not my cancerous cells, but my healthy cells. And I again, I may be wrong, so I -- please keep doing what your doctor is telling you to do.

KING: OK, to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Hello. Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, how are you?

KING: Hi, I feel like I'm screaming. Go ahead.

CALLER: Hi, Suzanne. I just want to tell you that I think you are great, and you conduct yourself with such grace and integrity. Thank you for being such an awesome role model for all women. My question for you is why initially did you choose the Iscador radiation therapy over the Iscador chemotherapy, because I understand that radiation has some pretty devastating side effects as well. And will you ever return to TV in a sit-com capacity?

KING: Good questions, both of them.

SOMERS: I just -- I chose radiation because, you know, I had this sense that it could fry it out of me, and that it did. It fried me, but, because -- because the weight of my doctors advice was about half and half when I analyzed it, I just chose to go radiation Iscador, and I explained why I didn't take the Tamoxifen. You know, Dr. Andrew Weil was saying that yes, the Tamoxifen does blow out the hormones, but you've got to weigh the risk, and this is what I really need for anybody who is concerned with hormones to understand that I did weigh that risk.

I think -- see, to me, I understand that loss of hormones is what aging is about, and I'm not talking about external, although it is external, I'm concerned with -- you know, hormones feed your inner organs, and I was concerned about what the devastating effects of being zeroed out hormonally would do.

KING: How do you feel?

SOMERS: I feel -- I feel great. You know one of the things -- I take...

KING: Do you get tired easy? I mean, do you have any side -- what -- you feel OK 100 percent? Do you feel 100 percent?

SOMERS: I feel OK, and see, because of the course of treatment that I have chosen for myself, my doctor, my Western doctor, who straddles the fence between Western and Eastern and holistic, has a vitamin herb cocktail that I take every day, which is about 20 different pills, plus I inject with the Iscador, which builds up my immune system and since I've had cancer, I haven't even had a cold, and the thing -- and I judge health by hair and nails.

I have so much hair that we have to keep cutting it off, and my nails, which I don't even like long nails, I have to go have them cut every week because I think that my immune system is being so boosted that my hair and nails are growing like crazy. So, I...

KING: Are you saying that this is a great thing that happened to you?

SOMERS: No, no.


SOMERS: No, no, no.

KING: You're not boosting this.

SOMERS: I'm just saying that the course of treatment that I have chosen seems to be agreeing with me. Would I want cancer? No.

KING: But you have...

SOMERS: But out of every negative, there are blessings, just the way -- how kind people have been is the first blessing, and, down the road...

KING: And you know, even the people critical care about you.

SOMERS: Yes, I know, and...

KING: I mean, they want you to be better. If they're criticizing your method, it's not because they don't want you to be better, it's because they you want to be better.

SOMERS: And I knew that with you. I mean, people said to me, gee, Larry was tough on you, and I said no. I know Larry well enough to know that he was -- he was trying to help me. I know you were. I know you were.

KING: Of course. SOMERS: I know that about you, so, I think everybody is concerned is so touching to me, and it almost makes me wish I could do what they want me to do. But it is my life and my body and I have to do what I think is right for me.

KING: We'll be right back with Suzanne Somers. I'm Larry King. Don't go away.


WEIL: Iscador, this treatment that Suzanne Somers mentioned, is actually not a new treatment. It's been used for many years in Germany, and in Switzerland. It has been promoted by a tradition of medicine little known in this country, called anthroposophical medicine.



KING: Bill Maher, Friday; Commander Scott Waddle, Thursday; tonight, Suzanne Somers. The city is Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Suzanne.


CALLER: I was wondering about your new book. I have bought all your other books and I'm on your diet and I've lost 40 pounds and I've kept it off for almost two years.

SOMERS: Good for you.

CALLER: And I think it is great, I just wondered the difference between your new book and the previous book.

SOMERS: Well, there's 100 new incredible recipes, and a lot of information about the value of fats in your diet, but real fats. I have medical studies to back it up, why fat is your friend and sugar is the enemy, but it's the most in-depth it's ever been, and also, how to cheat effectively, because I found that people, once they lost the weight, they'd start cheating and they'd cheat too much.

And so, I teach you how to cheat, and also, Somersizing for children, to really help you to understand the effects of the food that we're giving our children. Our children eat very little real food anymore, most of it is sugar. So those are three main things -- and also, a large section on the importance of hormonal balance, and that you can balance your hormones through the food that you eat, if it is real food.

And if you are of menopausal age, information about replacing the hormones you have lost in the aging process with plant extract hormones, not the synthetics, so that you are replacing what's lost rather than with the synthetics, which just take away the symptoms but do nothing to replace the hormones, and that is why women on synthetics gain weight because eventually it leads to insulin resistance. And you know, my whole thing is insulin resistance.

KING: Philadelphia, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Hi, Larry. Hi, Suzanne.



CALLER: I just wanted to tell you that I'm a 31-year-old breast cancer survivor, and that you are a definite inspiration for me. You always have been.

SOMERS: Thank you.

CALLER: And if I could suggest maybe writing a book about this in the future. You know, after you're through. I know it takes a while to get through this experience, but you can do it. And you don't have to explain to me, or anyone else, why do you what you do.

SOMERS: Thank you.

CALLER: With the tabloid thing, because that is your personal business. And we are definitely inspired by you. We love so you much.

KING: Thank you.

SOMERS: Thank you. That is kind...

KING: I am sure Suzanne might well write about this some day.

SOMERS: That is the kind of response I have been getting from these beautiful people, who are so touching. And I, you know, I have written a book about everything else. I'm sure when I reach that five-year mark, and my doctor says you are free and clear, I think then I really would have something to say.

KING: We will take a break and come back. By the way, tomorrow night, his mother and his brother are convicted murderers. He is the other brother. He's our guest tomorrow night. Don't miss it. We will be right back.


KING: Let's get in one more call for Suzanne Somers. Dayton, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Suzanne. Hello, Larry.



CALLER: I have mostly a comment. Suzanne, I feel very much for you, you're going through the strongest and worst days of your life, and I know that with the tabloids out there giving you such a rough time, I'm very sorry for that. And I wish people would just continue to pray for you. And as far as the tabloids, just lay off, don't bother reading them. Anyone with any brains anyhow would not read them.

SOMERS: Thank you very much. I believe in the power of prayer.

KING: What's it like, Suzanne, when you go on an airplane? Now, in last month, people -- are people looking at you differently? I mean, everybody knows you have a disease, which you didn't want them to know. And now they know through the misfortunes of a tabloid and the like. How does that feel to you when you look at them, looking at you?

SOMERS: Feels odd. I never wanted to be defined by cancer, because I think I'm so much more than that, but I really believe there is a reason for everything, and one of the things that I do in my career is deliver messages, and so maybe the first thing I'm supposed to be doing is delivering a message of early detection.

And it did save my -- this ultrasound machine saved my life because my doctor had said that if we had waited until the exam next year, that it might have been too late because at this size they start developing and growing and doubling in size pretty rapidly. So, I don't want to be perceived as sick. I'm not a sick person. I'm a healthy person who happens to have a disease right now that -- I am going to beat this thing, and I know that in five years, I know that my way will have worked for me, and I have to hang on to that.

KING: You are getting a lot of sympathy, obviously. Would you do this again if it happened again? I mean, if we can go back a month, would you come on again?

SOMERS: You know, I saw Don Rickles at Rio's last night. He came up to me and he said: "You know, I told Barbra I have got to get cancer. Look at all the sympathy she is getting," which so is Rickles.

KING: That is Don.

SOMERS: He kind of goes right to it, you know. I don't know. You know, a lot has happened. Stuff happens...

KING: By the way, you didn't answer one question -- I just remembered. Will you do a sitcom again? Would you come back on regular television?

SOMERS: Yes, I just don't want to be a mother again. I loved my children on "Step by Step," but I found when I was a mother on a sitcom, you couldn't be funny, so I would like to do something dumb and really funny again.

KING: Will you keep us posted? We will stay in touch with you, as to how you are doing, let us know about this other tests you take, because you've got the whole world interested, and we're being seen everywhere. SOMERS: OK, I will.

KING: Promise?

SOMERS: I will. You know, thanks so much, Larry.

KING: Thank you, Suzanne.


KING: You are a stand-up lady.

SOMERS: Thank you.

KING: Suzanne Somers and her new book just out, "Eat, Cheat and Melt the Fat Away."

Tomorrow night, what's it like to be raised by a mother who turns out to be a convicted murderer? Sante Kimes' other son, Kent Walker, tells his dramatic story. And to submit your questions early, log on to our Web city at And don't forget, on Thursday night, his first live time -- live prime-time appearance, Commander Scott Waddle of the United States Navy. Bill Maher will be here on Friday.

Stay tuned now for "CNN TONIGHT." I'm Larry King. For Suzanne Somers and our whole crew, good night.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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