The 83-year-old talk show icon was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago, he revealed to Us Weekly. The unexpected news came during a routine doctor's visit.
"I go for my checkup and they say, 'Let's do a chest X-ray, and the doctor said to me, 'Something looks funny,'" King said. "They said the spot looked pretty small. ... I then did a CAT scan then a PET scan and then he said to me, 'You have lung cancer, but it looks very small, in the beginning stages.'"
Before he knew it, he was undergoing surgery at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on July 17. King's doctor told him that he was "lucky" because while it was malignant, it was in the first stage, which would have invited trouble in a few years.
Larry King in the '80s, '90s and today
Larry King in the '80s, '90s and today
Washington, DC. 3-16-1993 Larry King of CNN arrives at the Radio and TV Correspondents DInner held at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Larry King is an American television and radio host, actor, voice artist, and comedian whose work has been recognized with awards including two Peabodys and 10 Cable ACE Awards. He began as a local Florida journalist and radio interviewer in the 1950s and 1960s and became prominent as an all-night national radio broadcaster starting in 1978. From 1985 to 2010, he ho (Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
Larry King and Rudolph Giuliani (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actress Angie Dickinson and television personality Larry King attend ACE Awards Luncheon on January 19, 1987 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Television Personality Larry King and actress Angie Dickinson attend ACE Awards Luncheon on January 20, 1987 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Larry King during The 8th Annual Cable ACE Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
date and Larry King (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Larry King during Partners In Progress Leukemia Society Benefit at J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Larry King during 10th Annual Cable ACE Awards at Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - 1990: CNN talk show host Larry King poses in his hotel room during a 1990 Beverly Hills, California photo portrait session. King's one hour TV show is viewed by millions throughout the world. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Circa 1990, American talk show host Larry King with his sixth wife, Julie Alexander. They divorced in 1992. (Photo by Darlene Hammond/Getty Images)
Ross Perot (R) joins Larry King (L) in his first live one-on-one television interview 17 July since quitting the presidential race. It was on CNN's Larry King Show that Perot first announced he'd run for president if volunteers put his name on the ballot. (Photo credit should read MARIA BASTONE/AFP/Getty Images)
Larry King during Museum of Television & Radio Presents A Celebration of Television & Radio at Waldorf Astoria in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JANUARY 16: Talk show host Larry King and actress Jane Fonda attend the 'Katharine Hepburn: All About Me' Universal City Premiere on January 16, 1993 a the Alfred Hitchcock Theatre, Universal Studios in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 7: Actor Marlon Brando plants one on talk show host Larry King during the taping of 'The Larry King Show' taped at Brando's house in Coldwater Canyon on October 7, 1994, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joan Adlen/Getty Images)
Larry King during 15th Annual Cable ACE Awards at Pantages Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 18: Actress Jane Fonda, businessman Ted Turner, talk show host Larry King and guest attend the American Oceans Campaign's First Annual Partners Award Salute to Ted Turner on April 18, 1994 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
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Although he's now left with just 80 percent of his original amount of lung, King managed to find a bright spot in the whole ordeal. "It was fun to see where that spot was and there is no spot now," he said.
King quit smoking in the '80s, but "the doctor said that tobacco from 30 years ago is still related to this lung cancer."
Although King is an active Twitter user -- "I Twitter every day," he's told the Washington Post -- he hasn't yet acknowledged the health news online. But that may be because King's tweeting methods require a bit of a delay: In order to tweet, he opens his flip phone, calls a special voicemail, and shares his thought. An assistant then listens to the message and trascribes the tweet for his 2.8 million followers.