SL-born BBC presenter reveals cancer has spread to his lungs

11 June 2020 01:42 pm - 22     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka-born BBC presenter George Alagiah has confirmed his bowel cancer has spread to his lungs.

The 64-year-old newsreader, who joined the BBC in 1989, was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014 and later said it spread to his liver and lymph nodes. After 17 courses of chemotherapy and five operations, it appeared the cancer had cleared – but it returned in 2018.

He revealed doctors told him at the end of April the cancer has now spread to his lungs in an interview with The Times. Mr Alagiah also spoke about testing positive for coronavirus after he developed a fever on 17 March.

“My doctors have never used the word ‘chronic’ or ‘cure’ about my cancer,” he said. “They’re 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, but what he did tell me is that the cancer is now in a third organ. It is in my lungs.”

Mr Alagiah said his previously low dose of chemotherapy has been increased to “the grown-up stuff”.

He said he kept the latest development secret and by the time of the interview with The Times, had only told his editor.

“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.”

The Sri Lanka-born presenter was diagnosed when he was 58. By that time, he had been the solo anchor of BBC News at Six for seven years and was regularly out on the field in foreign assignments.

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  Comments - 22

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  • Anoma Thursday, 11 June 2020 07:18 PM

    An excellent news reader. Be strong. We wish him good luck.

    Fr Neil Thursday, 11 June 2020 08:03 PM

    my sincere prayers for you

    John Thursday, 11 June 2020 08:49 PM

    One of my favorite news anchor. Extremely sad to hear this.

    Gratiaen Hewa Thursday, 11 June 2020 09:05 PM

    Shocking

    DillonDP Thursday, 11 June 2020 10:36 PM

    Fell sorry but admire your strength, I wish you more strength. Your a real hero. Wish you get well .

    raj Thursday, 11 June 2020 11:01 PM

    I wish you all the best and your fast recovery. God will bless to be healthy and continue to serve the media

    Kumara Friday, 12 June 2020 02:50 AM

    God Bless you, George. Excellent News Reporter-always neutral. I remember you covered Tsunami from Kalmunai, your birth palace! Touched by this news. Hope you recover soon.

    T.j miskin Friday, 12 June 2020 02:58 AM

    I always admired the style in your bbc news presentation.You were very clear in your presentation. I wish you a speedy recovery. God will always be with you.

    Sharadha de Saram Friday, 12 June 2020 05:24 AM

    One of very favourites. Reading your book, I learnt why your family had to leave Sri Lanka. May God bless you and keep you safe.

    Sid Friday, 12 June 2020 06:24 AM

    Of course we all feel sad for this brilliant BBC presenter. But let's not forget if it is his time to depart then he goes first and we follow. That's reality

    Sunil Friday, 12 June 2020 06:57 AM

    It was such a pleasure to hear him read the news. Until now I did not know that he had been born in Sri Lanka. We fervently hope that he will recover.

    Rienzie Nanayakkara Friday, 12 June 2020 07:27 AM

    God bless you!

    Mohammed Ibrahim Mohammed Yaafiyi Friday, 12 June 2020 03:45 PM

    Very good eloquent news reader. We all admire your news coverage. Happy to know your hometown is Kalmunai where I was born. God bless you George. Niyas.

    Noel Dayananda Silva Friday, 12 June 2020 08:06 PM

    Hope you will some how recover, also remember physical existance temporary and our life remains transient. We are proud of you.

    Asha De Silva Friday, 12 June 2020 09:53 PM

    Hope and pray that you will be free of cancer soon. Miracles do happen

    Kanapathipillai Sivagnanasunderam Friday, 12 June 2020 10:46 PM

    Dear Mr George Algaiah, we pray for you sincerely to get better and as usual I pray to St. Anthony's t to show his miracle as soon as possible. It will come soon. ,,

    Apputhuray Suthenthiran Saturday, 13 June 2020 02:34 AM

    Dear George, May god help you with strength and a speedy recovery.

    John Suppiah Saturday, 13 June 2020 06:23 AM

    God bless you and our prayers for you.

    Jitendra Pereira Saturday, 13 June 2020 07:52 PM

    My favourite news anchor. Wish you a speedy recovery!

    Zeena Anusha Pathirana Saturday, 13 June 2020 08:07 PM

    So sad to hear the news my prayers for your recovery. God bless you.

    K Sivapalan Sunday, 14 June 2020 02:35 PM

    Hi George, I pray to God to give you all the strength during this difficult time.

    Malathie de Silve Wednesday, 17 June 2020 05:49 PM

    Very sad to know this terrible news,I admire his courage


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