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BBC newsreader George Alagiah 'not scared to die’ as he opens up on bowel cancer treatment

The 63-year-old has now had more than 40 rounds of chemotherapy since 2014, when he was first diagnosed with advanced stage-four bowel cancer. The father-of-two returned to work in 2015 but revealed in 2017 that the disease had returned. “I’m not actually scared of death,” he said. “I’m not for myself. That much I know and I’ve had to work through it in my head.

“I’m one scan away from perhaps knowing that thing is going to happen sooner rather than later. 

“I’ve dealt with it for myself but I do find it very difficult when I think of my loved ones, and particularly for the woman who has loved me and I’ve loved since 1976, Frances.” 

The 63-year-old has two sons, Adam and Matthew. He also became a grandfather for the first time last year, which he described as “a wonderful thing”. 

After his initial diagnosis the disease spread to his liver and lymph nodes, which needed treatment with 17 rounds of chemotherapy and five operations, including one to remove most of his liver. 

Speaking on the How To Fail with Elizabeth Day podcast, he said: “I’m pretty content, strange as it may sound, more so since I was diagnosed with cancer five-and-a-half years ago. It took me three to six months to figure out how I was going to deal with it. 

“I drew up a list of good things and bad things in my life and I discovered the good things way outnumber the bad things. 

“I’m at chemo tomorrow and various other sorts of treatment and some of it has been tough. 

“It doesn’t feel like a battle. Who would I fight? Who is the enemy? 

“Cancer is knocking on my door everyday. I have to accept and own that vulnerability and not let it engulf me.” 


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