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

The 82-year-old broadcaster is waiting on a scan to find out her prognosis.

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Dame Esther Rantzen

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

The 82-year-old broadcaster, known for presenting BBC series That’s Life! and founding charities such as Childline, confirmed in January that her lung cancer had spread.

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 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.

The trailblazer for female broadcasters, who became a household name at the BBC, was speaking as she marked the 50th anniversary of the launch of That’s Life! on Friday.

The programme featuring a mix of investigations, topical issues and entertainment aired from 1973 to 1994.

Esther Rantzen lung cancer diagnosis
Dame Esther said she is ‘not good at regrets’ (Esther Rantzen/PA)

Dame Esther founded children’s charity Childline, which she established in 1986, in addition to her success as a journalist and broadcaster.

In 2006, the charity – which offers counselling and support for children and young people in the UK up until the age of 19 – became part of the The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

In addition, Dame Esther also set up The Silver Line in 2013, a charity which supports elderly people in the UK who are battling loneliness.

She was made a DBE in 2015 for services to children and older people due to her charity work.

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