Esther Rantzen talking on Loose Women

Esther Rantzen issues update on stage 4 lung cancer as she admits ‘nobody knows’ if medication is working

The presenter revealed her diagnosis earlier this year

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Dame Esther Rantzen has issued an update on her stage 4 lung cancer as she said she’s using “one of the new medications”.

Esther, 82, revealed her lung cancer diagnosis in a statement in Janunary. At the time, the founder of ChildLine and I’m A Celebrity star said that although it had “spread”, she ‘remained optimistic’.

Now, Esther has issued an update on her condition. She said her cancer is now stage 4 and she’s trying new medication. But she admitted “nobody knows if it’s working or not”.

Esther Rantzen smiling at event
Esther issued an update on her cancer (Credit: Keith Mayhew/Cover Images)

Dame Esther Rantzen gives update on cancer diagnosis

Speaking to the Mirror, Esther said: “I’m on one of the new medications, and nobody knows if it’s working or not. But I will have a scan fairly soon which will reveal one way or another.”

She continued: “My diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer made me realise how very lucky I’ve been in my life, working with Childline and the Silver Line, and meeting so many fascinating and inspiring people, and especially lucky to have spent 21 years working as producer/presenter of That’s Life!

“I’m not good at regrets. What I treasure most are the fantastic friendships I have made thanks to That’s Life! during the last 50 years, the people I met, and the team who worked so hard, and laughed so hard, together for so long.”

Esther Rantzen talking on Loose Women
Esther said she’s trying new medication for her cancer (Credit: ITV)

It comes months after Esther revealed her diagnosis. In a statement, via the Mirror, she said: “In the last few weeks I have discovered that I am suffering from lung cancer which has now spread. At the moment I am undergoing various tests, to assess the best treatment.”

She continued: “I have decided not to keep this secret any more because I find it difficult to skulk around various hospitals wearing an unconvincing disguise, and because I would rather you heard the facts from me. As I am sure you will understand, while I am awaiting the results of the tests, I am unable to answer questions.

I’m on one of the new medications, and nobody knows if it’s working or not.

“Thanks to the extraordinary skills of the medical profession there are wonderful new treatments, so I am remaining optimistic.”

In the statement Esther said she wanted to offer her “thanks to everyone who has made my life so joyful”. She went on to address her children, Miriam, Rebecca and Joshua, as well as her friends, and her colleagues.

Esther Rantzen smiling at event
Esther revealed her diagnosis earlier this year (Credit: Robin Pope/Cover Images)

Life of Dame Esther Rantzen

Dame Esther Rantzen was a household name in the 70s, 80s and 90s. She was best-known for presenting That’s Life!

The programme featured investigations, topical issues and entertainment and ran from 1973 to 1994. She also established children’s charity ChildLine in 1986.

Read more: Three stars ‘snubbed’ from six-hour I’m A Celebrity reunion lunch amid fallout rumours

It offer counselling and support to children up to age 19. In 2013, Dame Esther set up The Silver Line, a charity to support elderly people battling loneliness. She decided to offer the service after struggling with loneliness herself following the death of her husband in 2000.

Esther was married to TV producer and filmmaker Desmond Wilcox, who died of a heart attack in 2000 aged 69.

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Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)