Larry King details recent lung cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery

Jennifer Kline,

Larry King is one tough cookie.

The 83-year-old talk show icon was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago, he revealed to Us Weekly. The unexpected news came during a routine doctor's visit.

 "I go for my checkup and they say, 'Let's do a chest X-ray, and the doctor said to me, 'Something looks funny,'" King said. "They said the spot looked pretty small. ... I then did a CAT scan then a PET scan and then he said to me, 'You have lung cancer, but it looks very small, in the beginning stages.'"

Before he knew it, he was undergoing surgery at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on July 17. King's doctor told him that he was "lucky" because while it was malignant, it was in the first stage, which would have invited trouble in a few years.

Although he's now left with just 80 percent of his original amount of lung, King managed to find a bright spot in the whole ordeal. "It was fun to see where that spot was and there is no spot now," he said. 

King quit smoking in the '80s, but "the doctor said that tobacco from 30 years ago is still related to this lung cancer."

Although King is an active Twitter user -- "I Twitter every day," he's told the Washington Post --  he hasn't yet acknowledged the health news online. But that may be because King's tweeting methods require a bit of a delay: In order to tweet, he opens his flip phone, calls a special voicemail, and shares his thought. An assistant then listens to the message and trascribes the tweet for his 2.8 million followers.