George Alagiah has shared his experiences of living with stage 4 bowel cancer, saying that although he has struggled with "dark thoughts" since his diagnosis, it has brought some positives too. The BBC News presenter, who revealed he was being treated for the disease for a second time in 2018, opened up about his health on George Alagiah: A Bowel Cancer UK podcast.
"Everybody's got their way of dealing with it, but I had to get to what I now call my place of contentment," George said. "Because there was so much thrashing about in my mind, some of it negative, some of it dark."
George Alagiah says that cancer has made his life "richer"
The 63-year-old said that he has also found a way to see the good in his diagnosis, and living with cancer has made his life richer. George admitted: "I mean I wish I'd never had cancer, I wish I'd never got it. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But now that I've got it, it's made life richer. It's clearer to me what's important and it's clearer to me how to love people."
George was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2014, and it was found to have spread to his liver and lymph nodes. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and three major operations, including one which involved the removal of most of his liver. He returned to work after being given the all-clear in November 2015, but revealed last year that he was once again receiving treatment after the cancer returned.
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After taking a year out for further treatment, the popular BBC reporter returned to TV screens in January, telling viewers he had "got the cancer in a holding pattern", which enabled him to resume work. George has been the face of News at Six since 2007. He has been married to his wife Frances Robathan for 33 years and the couple are parents to two sons, Adam and Matt.
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