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Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh announces he has advanced lung cancer

'This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory for me'

Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh announced on his Monday show he has "advanced lung cancer," Fox News reported, adding that he will miss some days for treatment.

"This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory for me, because I've known this moment was coming in the program today," Limbaugh said. "I'm sure that you all know by now that I really don't like talking about myself, and I don't like making things about me ... The one thing that I know that has happened over the 31-plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that has developed between all of you and me."

Limbaugh, 69, added that his relationship to his listeners has felt like a "family" and that his job as a talk radio host has given him the "greatest satisfaction and happiness" in his life.

"So I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn't have to tell you," he continued, pausing several times. "It's a struggle for me because I had to inform my staff earlier today."

He finally said that "the upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer."

Limbaugh's announcement begins at the 46:40 mark:

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Limbaugh added that his diagnosis was confirmed by two medical institutions on Jan. 20; he said he first realized something was wrong on his Jan. 12 birthday weekend.

The longtime airwave host said he considered keeping his diagnosis under wraps but offered that "there are going to be days when I'm not going to be able to be here because I'm undergoing treatment, or I'm reacting to treatment." But he said that would lead to speculation and that it would be better if he simply said what was up.

"It is what it is," he said, adding that he would appear on air and do the program as best and as often as he can.

'Deeply personal relationship with God'

Limbaugh also said he told his staff earlier in the day that he has a "deeply personal relationship with God that I do not proselytize about" and that he's been focused intently on that spiritual relationship since his diagnosis.

He also said he's experiencing "zero symptoms" related to his lung cancer diagnosis other than "shortness of breath" that he figured may have been asthma or something heart related. But Limbaugh noted that his heart has been "ticking away fine."

Limbaugh also said he'd be gone for the next few days as his course of treatment is determined, and he gets further testing.

He added a thank you to his listeners: "I know you're there in great numbers, and I know that you understand everything I say. The rest of the world may not when they hear it expressed in a different way, but I know that you do. You've been one of the greatest sources of confidence that I've had in my life."

This is a developing story; updates will be added.

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