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Thursday 9th July 2020

BBC newsreader George Alagiah reveals bowel cancer has spread

The cancer has now spread to his lungs

George Alagiah has revealed his bowel cancer has spread to his lungs.

The BBC newsreader was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014, revealing in 2017 that it had spread to his liver and lymph nodes.

George Alagiah has revealed his cancer has spread (Credit: BBC)

Read more: George Alagiah reveals coronavirus diagnosis

The 64-year-old has now spoken about doctors telling him in April that the cancer is now in his lungs.

In an interview with The Times he said there had been some relief that they had not used the word 'terminal'.

The broadcaster said: "My doctors have never used the word 'chronic' or 'cure' about my cancer.

"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.'

My doctors have never used the word 'terminal'.

"But what he did tell me is that the cancer is now in a third organ. It is in my lungs."

George has told his doctors to do the worrying (Credit: BBC)

He added: "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. I just know that he's a clever guy, doing everything he can."

George explained that his chemotherapy has increased as a result of the cancer spreading.

In March, George tested positive for coronavirus, explaining that he underwent tests after developing a fever.

Several days later his oncologist rang to say he had tested positive for the virus.

Read more: BBC's George Alagiah reveals "embarrassment" of living with bowel cancer

"In some ways, I think that those of us living with cancer are stronger because we kind of know what it is like to go into something where the outcomes are uncertain," he told BBC colleague Sophie Raworth.

In December last year, George said that he did not fear death.

Speaking on the How To Fail podcast, he said: "No I'm not [scared], actually. I'm not for myself, that much I know.

"And I've had to work through it in my head because I'm one scan away from perhaps knowing that that thing is going to happen sooner rather than later.

"I do find it very, very difficult when I think of my loved ones and in particular the woman who has loved me and who I love over the years since 1976, Frances, so that part of it is difficult."

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