Dame Esther Rantzen reveals lung cancer diagnosis has moved to stage four

Dame Esther Rantzen Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Dame Esther Rantzen has revealed that her lung cancer has progressed to stage four.

The 82-year-old broadcaster, who lives in the New Forest in Hampshire, and is known for being a trailblazer during her career at the BBC and founding charities, confirmed in January that she had been diagnosed with the disease.

Dame Esther said at the time she “decided not to keep this secret any more because I find it difficult to skulk around various hospitals wearing an unconvincing disguise” and is “remaining optimistic”.

In Friday’s The Mirror, she said “nobody knows” if the new medication she is trying is working and a scan “will reveal one way or another”.

Dame Esther Rantzen praised volunteers and staff at the charities she set up when she was honoured at the Women of the Year Awards. Credit: PA

Dame Esther said: “My diagnosis of stage four 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!

“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.”

According to Cancer Research UK, stage four is when the cancer has spread from where it started to another body organ and is also called secondary or metastatic cancer.

Dame Esther Rantzen said she will be watching Monday’s debate closely Credit: Esther Rantzen/PA

She is best known for presenting That’s Life! – a programme featuring a mix of investigations, topical issues and entertainment – from 1973 to 1994.In addition to her success as a journalist and broadcaster, Dame Esther is also the founder of the children’s charity Childline, which she established in 1986.

The charity offers counselling and support for children and young people, up until the age of 19, in the UK.

In 2006, the charity became part of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).Dame Esther also set up The Silver Line in 2013, a charity which supports elderly people in the UK who are battling loneliness.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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