TV legend Dame Esther Rantzen reveals lung cancer has reached Stage 4

26 May 2023, 09:21 | Updated: 26 May 2023, 09:38

Dame Esther Rantzen and The Queen during a visit to Charlestown School in St Austell last year
Dame Esther Rantzen and The Queen during a visit to Charlestown School in St Austell last year. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Dame Esther Rantzen has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, she has revealed as she spoke openly about her treatment for the first time.

The broadcaster, 82, founder of the Childline and Silver Line charities, first revealed she had cancer back in January.

But her cancer has spread and has reached stage 4. She said she felt it was the time now to talk about her health because she found “it difficult to skulk around various hospitals wearing an unconvincing disguise.”

She told The Mirror: “I'm on one of the new medications, and nobody knows if it's working or not.

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

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She said the diagnosis made her realise how lucky she's been in life
She said the diagnosis made her realise how lucky she's been in life. Picture: Alamy

She added that her stage four diagnosis has made her realise “how very lucky I've been in my life”.

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.”

Following the news of Dame Esther's cancer diagnosis, NSPCC chief executive Sir Peter Wanless said: “I speak on behalf of Childline's volunteers, staff and supporters in sending love and best wishes to Dame Esther Rantzen and her family.

“Esther's tireless commitment to Childline and the wider NSPCC over the years is truly inspiring and the positive impact that's she had on children's live is unimaginable.

“No matter what, she has always been here for children and young people and likewise, we are here to support her during this challenging time.”

In 2021 Dame Esther received the lifetime achievement award at the Women of the Year Awards for her charity work.

She was made a DBE in 2015 for services to children and older people through ChildLine and The Silver Line.

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