Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh told his listeners on Monday that he has advanced lung cancer, The New York Times reports. While he will have to be away from his show for a couple of days to receive further tests and devise a treatment plan with his health care providers, the staunch supporter of President Trump said he hopes to continue working as much as possible.
Limbaugh said on air that he first began experiencing shortness of breath on January 12. By January 20, two medical institutions had diagnosed him with advanced lung cancer. Currently, he said he is not experiencing any other symptoms.
Now 69 years old, Limbaugh has previously stated that he began smoking cigarettes in his teens and quit during his 30s. In 2015, he questioned the association between smoking and cancer. Even so, today photographs often depict him puffing on a cigar.
The science is clear: Smoking causes cancer. About 80% to 90% of all lung cancer deaths are related to smoking.
Limbaugh has Stage IV lung cancer. Five-year survival rates for Stage IV lung cancer, whether it is non–small cell or the less common small cell, are well below 10%. However, in recent years, there have been treatment advances. Checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy, for example, can improve long-term survival in people with Stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer, but only a small percentage of people are candidates for it. See the Cancer Health article “Immunotherapy Boosts Lung Cancer Survival” for more information.
Limbaugh also has a history of addiction to painkillers, having entered treatment for the substance use disorder in 2003. He recently signed a new four-year contract with Premiere Radio Networks.
Other Cancer Health articles on the link between smoking and lung cancer include “Most Smokers and Ex-Smokers Don’t Get Lung Cancer Screening” and “Smoking Cessation Program Shows High Success Rate in Those With Cancer.” Also, check out Cancer Health’s basic information page on lung cancer by clicking here.
To read the New York Times article, click here.