shocked a television audience with the news that he is recovering from cancer surgery and treatment.
The former "Today" show anchor, 61, said a malignant tumor and part of his lung were removed 2 months ago. He revealed his condition to Kelly Ripa while subbing for Regis Philbin on yesterday's edition of "Live With Regis and Kelly."
"It's nothing to hide from," Gumbel said. "They opened up my chest, they took out a malignant tumor, they took out part of my lung and they took out some other goodies."
Even with the surgery, some aggressive cancer cells had escaped, "so I went through some treatment and it's done now," he said.
The tumor was not in Gumbel's lung, but next to it, said Sean Cassidy, a friend of Gumbel 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 Sept. 15 and Oct. 27.
Before yesterday's show, Ripa was talking with him backstage and mentioned that she wanted to dance with him to accompany a segment with a woman who dances for exercise. Gumbel demurred, and when Ripa pushed it, he said he was not allowed to dance. Then he told her the reason, she said.
Gumbel said he is meeting with his surgeon and oncologist next week and hopes to be cleared to play golf.
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* Promoters Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer planned to go to Dallas to meet today with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones as the momentum continues to grow for a March 13 megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.