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Dame Esther Rantzen confirms lung cancer is at stage four as she reflects on life

Dame Esther Rantzen confirms lung cancer is at stage four as she reflects on life

The journalist announced the news in January as she said she didn't want to keep her health a 'secret'

Dame Esther Rantzen has shared an update on her health after announcing in January she had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

The journalist, 82, first shared the news of her diagnosis in a statement in which she explained the cancer had 'now spread'.

“At the moment I am undergoing various tests, to assess the best treatment," she said.

Four months on, Rantzen confirmed to The Mirror the cancer is at Stage 4; news which has prompted her to look back over the decades of her life and career.

Esther Rantzen presented That's Life for 21 years.

“My diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer made me realise how very lucky I’ve been in my life, working with Childline and the Silver Line, and meeting so many fascinating and inspiring people, and especially lucky to have spent 21 years working as producer/presenter of That’s Life!” she said.

Yesterday (25 May), marked 50 years since the launch of the BBC consumer show That's Life! which Rantzen worked on for so many years.

She continued: “I’m not good at regrets. What I treasure most are the fantastic friendships I have made thanks to That’s Life! during the last 50 years, the people I met, and the team who worked so hard, and laughed so hard, together for so long.”

“Pardon me boasting, I came up with the title,” she added.


Stage 4 cancer means the disease has spread to at least one other organ, and while Rantzen continues to receive treatment, she admitted that it's unclear whether medications are having much of an effect.

“I’m on one of the new medications, and nobody knows if it’s working or not," she said. “But I will have a scan fairly soon which will reveal one way or another."

Rantzen said during her initial announcement that she'd decided not to keep her diagnosis a secret any more because she found it difficult to 'skulk around various hospitals wearing an unconvincing disguise'.

"I would rather you heard the facts from me," she said.

The journalist continued: "At the age of 82, this diagnosis has prompted me to look back over the years, and I want to express my profound thanks to everyone who has made my life so joyful, filled with fun, and with inspiration.

“First and foremost my family. My three children Miriam, Rebecca and Joshua have been the most wonderful support, company, and source of love and laughter and I am deeply grateful to them."

Rantzen added at the time that she remained optimistic thanks to 'the extraordinary skills of the medical profession' and 'wonderful new treatments'.

Featured Image Credit: George Sweeney//PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Health, Celebrity