Solid Gold Soul
Dec. 9, 2009

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Bryant Gumbel

Bryant Gumbel revealed Tuesday that he has undergone surgery and treatment for lung cancer.

The 61-year-old host of HBO’s “Real Sports” revealed his condition to a surprised Kelly Ripa while subbing for Regis Philbin Tuesday on “Live with Regis and Kelly.” [Scroll down to watch clip.]

“They opened up my chest, they took a malignant tumor and they took part of my lung and some other goodies,” said Gumbel, adding that “the pathology on most of the stuff came back benign, but enough aggressive cells escaped the tumor that it warranted some treatment.”

Gumbel said he had preferred to keep his condition private and only told Ripa backstage to explain why he couldn’t dance with her during a segment on the show. He said he’s meeting with his surgeon and oncologist next week and hopes to be cleared soon so that he can play golf.

The tumor was not in Gumbel’s lung, but next to it, said Sean Cassidy, a friend of Gumbel’s and president of DKC, a New York public relations firm. Gumbel is not a smoker, he said.

Gumbel said he and his wife, Hilary Quinlan, had wanted to keep the news private. He said he had even kept his staff at the HBO sports newsmagazine “Real Sports” in the dark. HBO said Gumbel didn’t miss an episode, taping shows on both Sept. 15 and Oct. 27.

“We hope,” he said. “We HOPE, it’s over.”

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