Bryant Gumbel Treated for Lung Cancer

Former Today show host, turned Real Sports sportscaster, Bryant Gumbel,61, revealed on a live episode of Live with Regis and Kelly that he is being treated for lung cancer. He announced that he had undergone surgery a month ago to remove what turned out to be a malignant tumor. According to Gumbel,  “They opened up my chest, they took a malignant tumor and they took part of my lung and some other goodies.  The pathology on most of the stuff came back benign, but enough aggressive cells escaped the tumor that it warranted some treatment.”  He is scheduled to follow up with his physician next week to see what course his treatment will take from here. Gumbel is known to be a cigar smoker.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. It is a leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers. The more cigarettes you smoke per day and the earlier you started smoking, the greater your risk of lung cancer. High levels of pollution, radiation and asbestos exposure may also increase risk.

There are two main categories of lung cancer:

  • Small cell carcinoma – about 13% of lung cancers are of this type which tends to spread quickly
  • Non-small cell carcinoma – about 87% of lung cancers are of this type which spreads more slowly

Common symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away and gets worse over time
  • Constant chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness
  • Repeated problems with pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Fatigue

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Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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