Dame Esther Rantzen Shares Lung Cancer Diagnosis
Dame Esther Rantzen pictured in 2015
TV personality Dame Esther Rantzen has shared that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
In a statement issued to the PA news agency, Esther explained that she had received the diagnosis in the past few weeks, and that the disease has spread to other parts of her body.
“In the last few weeks I have discovered that I am suffering from lung cancer which has now spread,” she said. “At the moment I am undergoing various tests, to assess the best treatment.”
She continued: “I have 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.
“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.
“My friends have been amazing and have created memories which sustain me and give me strength.
“My colleagues with whom I have worked, and continue to work with in broadcasting, journalism, the voluntary sector, and in many other organisations have been a constant pleasure, and have amazed me with their tolerance of my wild ideas and awful jokes.”
Dame Esther Rantzen pictured at a memorial for Dame Vera Lynn in March 2022
Esther added: “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.
“As I am sure you will understand, while I am awaiting the results of the tests, I am unable to answer questions. Thanks to the extraordinary skills of the medical profession there are wonderful new treatments, so I am remaining optimistic.”
As well as her broadcasting career, which included presenting shows like That’s Life!, Hearts Of Gold and a self-titled talk show, Esther is also known for her philanthropic work.
In 1986, she founded the youth service Childline, and later set up The Silver Line, a charity helping older people, in 2013.
She received a Damehood for services to children and older people in the 2015 New Years Honours List.