LOS ANGELES, California –
Simon Cowell, the 56-year-old television mogul was recently diagnosed with stage one squamous cell carcinoma, a form of lung cancer that makes up a quarter of the cases.
Although Cowell is most recognized as a judge on American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent he is also a entrepreneur, philanthropist, film, record, and television producer. Due to the diagnosis it is expected he will fulfill his obligations but have to turn down new commitments.
Recently Cowell rejoined American Idol after a break. “As much as I like being on a music show, it does get a bit tedious when it’s just singer after singer after singer, but I will be continuing even through chemotherapy and radiation,” Cowell told New York Times in a recent interview. “I’m lucky they caught it at this stage. Perhaps I will be a little more blunt, if you can imagine it, but this will not affect my ability to judge the show.”
Often times lung cancers are not caught until it is too late, as tumors have ample opportunity to grow in the lungs before becoming apparent, and initial symptoms are usually minor and ignored or attributed to something else. Cowell says the return to the show may have saved his life. “I had a bit of a cough that wouldn’t go away. The crew insisted I get a full work up. That’s when they found the mass.”
Cowell’s girlfriend Lauren Silverman and son Eric are encouraging Cowell to quit smoking cigarettes, a challenge that is proving tough for Cowell.
“It’s well known I have a bit of a temper, but who wouldn’t dealing with the idiots I have to? Cigarettes are the only bloody thing that calms me down.” As a judge, Cowell often makes blunt and controversial comments, including insults and wisecracks about contestants and their abilities. Scorned past contestants are cheering for the cancerous growth, calling it karma.