Dame Esther Rantzen reveals unexpected news amid battle with lung cancer

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The beloved journalist was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in January but her reaction to the news has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Recent months have witnessed a wave of revelations from celebrities battling cancer, emphasizing the stark reality that even public figures are not immune to this formidable adversary. Amy Dowden, the 33-year-old dancer, disclosed her breast cancer diagnosis in May after a Crohn's disease diagnosis in 2019. Johnny Irwin, diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2020, revealed the terminal nature of his illness last year as the cancer had metastasized to his brain.

Dame Esther Rantzen's bold move

Dame Esther Rantzen's case has emerged as the latest instance of a public figure navigating the complexities of a cancer diagnosis. In a recent interview with BBC’s Today Podcast, Dame Esther shared her unexpected journey into the Christmas period and acknowledged her association with the Swiss organization Dignitas, known for providing physician-assisted suicide.

Esther Rantzen shocking news lung cancer Mike Marsland

Dame Esther Rantzen, the revered Childline founder and broadcaster, has candidly revealed her contemplation of assisted dying in the face of her ongoing battle with stage 4 lung cancer. Dame Esther shared, acknowledging the complexities her decision poses for her family and friends:

'I have joined Dignitas. I have in my brain thought, well, if the next scan says nothing's working, I might buzz off to Zurich. And that means that the police might prosecute them. So we’ve got to do something. At the moment, it’s not really working, is it?'

As per The Guardian, assisted suicide remains prohibited in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with those convicted facing up to 14 years in prison. Dame Esther used her platform to advocate for change, calling for a free vote among Members of Parliament on assisted dying. 'I think it's important that the law catches up with what the country wants,' she emphasized.

The disclosure comes amid a broader national debate on assisted dying, with the Health and Social Care Committee gearing up to release its report soon, as per Sky News. The committee launched an inquiry in December 2022, aiming to explore different perspectives on the contentious issue.

Dame Esther highlighted the supportive stance of her family and underscored the importance of avoiding a painful end, stating:

'I explained to them that actually I don't want their last memories of me to be painful because if you watch someone you love having a bad death, that memory obliterates all the happy times and I don't want that to happen.'

A look back at Dame Esther's career

Dame Esther Rantzen, a distinguished British broadcaster, journalist, and philanthropist, rose to prominence as the charismatic host of the BBC's long-running magazine program That's Life! from 1973 to 1994. In 1986, she founded Childline, a groundbreaking helpline for children in need of support and counseling.

Esther Rantzen shocking news lung cancer The Evening Standard

Her commitment to social causes extended to the elderly, leading to the establishment of The Silver Line in 2013, a charity addressing loneliness among older individuals. Recognized for her outstanding contributions, Dame Esther Rantzen was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2015.

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© Max Mumby

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