Howard Stern Reveals Recent Cancer Scare: 'All I'm Thinking Is, I'm Going to Die'

The longtime radio host was told there was a 90 percent chance his kidney had a cancerous growth

Howard Stern
Howard Stern. Photo: Kevin Kane/Getty

For almost a year, Howard Stern thought that he probably had cancer.

His doctors had found a growth on his kidney, and they — and the longtime radio host — expected the worst.

Stern, 65, reveals in his new book, Howard Stern Comes Again, excerpted in The Hollywood Reporter, that he spent much of 2016 and 2017 going back and forth for testing after his doctor discovered a low white blood cell count during a regular checkup.

They eventually discovered the growth and believed at first that there was a 90 percent chance that it was cancerous.

“And now all I’m thinking is, ‘I’m going to die,’ ” Stern told THR. “And I’m scared sh–less.”

Howard Stern The Hollywood Reporter
Howard Stern on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter. Photographed by Austin Hargrave

Stern, who had almost never taken a day off from his long-running SiriusXM show, shocked fans by canceling the broadcast on May 10, 2017 for surgery — though he kept the reason to himself.

After the procedure, Stern learned that the growth was in fact just a small, non-cancerous cyst. He was able to get back on the air five days later.

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Still, the experience left him with seven incisions and a painful recovery, and Stern is now questioning whether he wants to continue doing his show after his contract expires in 2020.

“I’m at a place now where I am trying to figure out how to spend the rest of my life, however long that might be,” he said. But “It seems weird to me not to have this,” he added, referring to his broadcasting desk.

Howard Stern The Hollywood Reporter
Howard Stern. Photographed by Austin Hargrave

Stern said that he’s “thinking about the hourglass, and the sand emptying,” but then again vacillated to wanting to stay in his job.

“To walk away from what I’m good at?” he said. “I don’t even know that I have it 100 percent right yet. And maybe there’s more to explore.”

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