Belfast Telegraph

George Alagiah: I didn’t want to know my chances of survival

The BBC presenter tried to come to terms with his life.

BBC newsreader George Alagiah (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)
BBC newsreader George Alagiah (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

George Alagiah has said he did not want to know his chances of surviving cancer.

The BBC News presenter chose to remain ignorant of the mortality statistics for bowel cancer following his diagnosis.

He said he examined his life for six months after receiving the news, and decided he was happy despite his illness.

Alagiah announced that he was undergoing treatment for bowel cancer in 2014 and after an absence from BBC News, returned to screens in 2015.

I realised that the good things far outweighed the bad George Alagiah

However, in 2018 he announced that he would need further treatment for the illness.

Speaking on the Bowel Cancer UK podcast, Alagiah said he never wanted to know his chances.

He said: “I decided I didn’t want to know about the survival statistics. It’s a very unpredictable disease, you’re good one week and not the next, good chances one year and not the next.”

The journalist had to weigh the positives and negatives of his life to make peace after receiving the bad news.

He said: “It took me about three to six months after my diagnosis, I called it getting to a place of contentment. I needed that.

“Just to kind of look at my life and say whatever happens, do you know what, I’m content’.

“I literally had a list of good things that happened to me and bad things, and I realised that the good things far outweighed the bad.

“Is there somebody out there in some other country could do something for me that doctors here can’t?”

The full discussion with Alagiah can be heard on the Bowel Cancer UK podcast.

PA

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