Television host Bryant Gumbel revealed Tuesday that he recently underwent surgery for lung cancer. The unexpected bombshell happened on live television, as he was filling in for Regis Philbin on "Live With Regis and Kelly."
When co-host Kelly Ripa tried to get Gumbel up to dance, Gumbel said he wasn't up to it, then explained why. "Two months ago I had cancer surgery," the 61-year-old Gumbel told a shocked Ripa and studio audience.
Gumbel said doctors opened up his chest and "took a out a malignant tumor, part of my lung and some other goodies." He added, "the pathology on most of the stuff came back benign, but enough aggressive cells escaped the tumor that it warranted some treatment." He said, "it's done now."
When Ripa pressed him on how he's doing, all Gumbel could muster was "okay, for the time being."
Later he said, "It's nothing to run from. It's just that I've not made it public."
Gumbel said he told his family and a few friends. He even kept the news from the staff at his HBO show "Real Sports." Amazingly, the surgery did not slow down production of the show.
Gumbel said he will meet with his doctors in the next week, and that he hopes to be cleared to start playing golf again soon.