Rush Limbaugh says his lung cancer is terminal

The radio personality and conservative political commentator first announced his diagnosis in February.

Monika Warzecha 2 minute read October 20, 2020
Rush Limbaugh cancer

Rush Limbaugh shared his lung cancer diagnosis earlier this year. Getty

Rush Limbaugh, a long-time radio personality and conservative political commentator in the U.S., says his lung cancer is terminal.

Limbaugh, 69, spoke candidly about his diagnosis Monday on the Rush Limbaugh Show. “I hate the way I feel every day. It’s tough to realize that the days where I do not think I’m under a death sentence are over.” He explained that despite undergoing chemotherapy, the cancer has progressed.

In early February, Limbaugh announced on his nationally syndicated radio show that he was undergoing treatment for Stage 4 advanced cancer. “I wish I didn’t have to tell you this and I thought about not telling anybody because I don’t like making things about me,” he said.

The next day, U.S. President Donald Trump praised him as a “fighter” and “winner” in his State of the Union address in DC and awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, surprising the radio host.

On air since the 1970s, Limbaugh has fans and detractors, wading into controversial topics such as race and LGBTQ issues. His radio show has been syndicated across the U.S. since 1988.

There are two main forms of lung cancer: small cell and non-small cell.  About 15 per cent of lung cancer cases are small cell; this type tends to spread quickly, with small cancer cells growing very quickly and creating large tumours. . Non-small cell lung cancer is much more common and spreads much more slowly.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, not counting skin cancer, in the U.S. It is more commonly diagnosed in people aged 65 and older.

“Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, making up almost 25 per cent of all cancer deaths,” the society says, “Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.”

The situation in Canada is quite similar: lung cancer is also the the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer, exluding on-melanoma skin cancers. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates it will make up 25 per cent of all cancer deaths in 2020.

If you or someone you care about is living with cancer, connecting with a support network can help to not only learn ways to better manage their health, but also share experiences with others. Some Canadian resources include the WellspringCancer Connect at the Canadian Cancer Society, and in the U.S., the Lung Cancer Foundation of America.


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