Larry King is synonymous with broadcasting. Having started his career as a Florida journalist in the 1950s, there’s very little he has not experienced. But speaking to Us Weekly on Wednesday, he confirmed his latest battle with lung cancer. King said a small spot came up during a routine chest x-ray, which later turned out to be malignant. He underwent surgery in July and 20 percent of his lung was removed.

A warning to smokers

In his 83 years, King has faced many challenges, his health being a prime concern. A heavy smoker for decades, he suffered two major setbacks in 1987, a heart attack and bypass procedure. King also found out he was a Type 2 diabetic and later on, that he had prostate cancer.

Fortunately, the latter was cured with radiation treatments, but the news legend has not smoked in over 30 years. Reflecting on his earlier days, King admitted to Extra that he smoked three packs a day and sometimes, even in the shower. Even though he gave up smoking years ago, he said doctors told him that his vice contributed to his lung cancer.

King considers himself lucky to have found the cancer early. He says his frequent check-ups saved him, especially the chest x-ray. The Brooklyn-born survivor is now urging all smokers to follow suit and get regular chest x-rays done to ensure nothing is wrong. If something is spotted, he says a painless CAT scan will confirm the issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed in June 2017, that the leading cause of cancer death in the US is lung cancer and cigarette smoking is the main culprit.

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It urged smokers to quit because various symptoms of cancer can negatively impact their lives. These include shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, coughing up blood and wheezing. The CDC warns that cigarette smoking not only affects the lungs but can also cause cancer in other body parts. These include, but are not limited to the mouth and throat, trachea, kidney, liver, colon, rectum, pancreas and cervix.

A journey well traveled

Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, King changed his name in the 1950s, after his radio boss complained that it was too ethnic and difficult to remember. He then went onto commentate at several sporting events and hosted many news shows as well. Over the years, King broadened his repertoire with stand up comedy and authoring 15 books. According to CNN, he has done over 30,000 interviews, many involving celebrities, politicians and world leaders. Speaking to Us Weekly, King indicated his desire to keep working, as the media is his home. Having spent 60 years in broadcasting, he is most famous for CNN's "Larry King Live" which ran from 1985 to 2010. He has since enjoyed hosting “Larry King Now” which just kicked off its 6th season and “Politicking with Larry King.” Both programs air on Hulu and RT America.