george alagiah

BBC News anchor George Alagiah shares heartbreaking cancer update

The BBC journalist was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014

Sharnaz Shahid

BBC newsreader George Alagiah has shared a heartbreaking update on his health, claiming his stage 4 bowel cancer has now spread to his lungs. The 64-year-old was first diagnosed with the illness in 2014 and later revealed that the cancer had spread to his liver and lymph nodes. However, George was told in April that the illness has now affected the third organ. In a new interview with The Times, George confessed that doctors is yet to use the word "terminal," which has provided some relief.

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George Alagiah has revealed his cancer has spread to his lungs

"My doctors have never used the word 'chronic' or 'cure' about my cancer," he explained. "They've never used the word 'terminal' either. I've always said to my oncologist, 'Tell me when I need to sort my affairs out,' and he's not told me that, but what he did tell me is that the cancer is now in a third organ. It is in my lungs."

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George, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March, admitted he initially kept the latest development a secret, only telling his editor. "I said to my doctor, 'You're going to have to do the worrying for me.' I don't want to fill my mind with worry," he added. "I just know that he's a clever guy, doing everything he can."

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The BBC news anchor was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2014

The broadcaster underwent 17 rounds of chemotherapy to treat advanced bowel cancer after his diagnosis six years ago. He returned to work after being given the all-clear in November 2015, but revealed in 2018 that he was once again receiving treatment after the cancer came back.

Last year, George shared his experiences of living with the disease, saying that although he has struggled with "dark thoughts" since his diagnosis, it has brought some positives too. Opening up about his health on George Alagiah: A Bowel Cancer UK podcast, he explained: "Everybody's got their way of dealing with it, but I had to get to what I now call my place of contentment. Because there was so much thrashing about in my mind, some of it negative, some of it dark."

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