Dame Esther Rantzen shares how long she has left to live after cancer diagnosis

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Dame Esther Rantzen has revealed she asked her doctor for her life expectancy after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

The TV star, 83, confirmed she was living with the disease in January, saying at the time she was undergoing various tests to find the ‘best treatment.’

She added that she no longer wanted to keep it a secret because she didn’t like ‘skulking around various hospitals wearing an unconvincing disguise’.

In May, Dame Esther shared another health update and revealed she had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

She explained the prognosis made her reflect on how ‘very lucky’ she has been in life and her ‘fantastic friendships.’

The same month, the TV icon had been due to appear on The One Show to mark 50 years since That’s Life, the programme she hosted from 1973 to 1994.

She was, however, forced to miss her appearance due to her ill health.

Instead, the feature was postponed to Friday’s instalment of the BBC One show, which saw Dame Esther interviewed by Alex Jones, 46, at her home.

Alex asked the broadcasting legend ‘where she was now’ with her diagnosis, adding that her fans ‘would want to know.’

Dame Esther replied: ‘I want to know. I did say to my oncologist, “When am I going to die?” And he said, “Sometime in the next 10 years. But how soon, how late I do not know.”

‘It does concentrate your mind to be told you’ve got to stage 4 lung cancer. You do think, “Well, wait a minute. I’ve got less time than maybe I had assumed so you priortise.

‘Because as much as I love it and as much as I respect people who die working, for me I didn’t want to die working.’

Dame Esther is most famous for presenting That’s Life! – a programme featuring a mix of investigations, topical issues and entertainment – for 21 years.

In addition to her success as a journalist and broadcaster, Dame Esther is also the founder of children’s charity Childline, which she established in 1986, as well as The Silver Line, which supports people battling loneliness.

The One Show airs weekdays from 7pm on BBC One.

Macmillan cancer support

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer, Macmillan can offer support and information.

You can contact their helpline on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week from 8am to 8pm), use their webchat service, or visit their site for more information.

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