Dame Esther Rantzen says her lung cancer is now stage 4 as she reflects on ‘lucky’ life

Virgin Radio

26 May 2023, 06:51

Dame Esther Rantzen

Credit: Getty

TV legend Dame Esther Rantzen has provided a new health update about her lung cancer diagnosis.

The That’s Life! host revealed in January that she has lung cancer in a statement that read: “In the last few weeks I have discovered that I am suffering from lung cancer which has now spread.” She explained that she is now “undergoing various tests, to assess the best treatment.”

In a new interview with the Daily Mirror, Rantzen admitted the cancer is now stage four and she's on new medications, but “nobody knows if it’s working or not.”

She explained: “I will have a scan fairly soon which will reveal one way or another.”

The Childline founder added that the diagnosis caused her to reflect on her life, and made her “realise how very lucky I’ve been.”

“I’m not good at regrets," she said. "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.”

Dame Esther Rantzen

Credit: Getty

Dame Esther presented That’s Life! from 1973 to 1994, and founded children’s charity Childline in 1986. 

She also set up charity The Silver Line in 2013, which supports elderly people in the UK who are battling loneliness. In 2015, the broadcaster was made a DBE for her services to children and older people.

Speaking in her previous statement announcing the news, the journalist stated that she has “decided not to keep this secret any more because I find it difficult to skulk around various hospitals wearing an unconvincing disguise, and because I would rather you heard the facts from me.”

The TV star 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.”

Having spoken of her love and gratitude for her family, friends and colleagues, she reflected on her career, saying: “I have been continuously inspired by the courageous children, older people and viewers who have trusted me with their life stories. I have always tried to live up to that trust.”