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Stand Up to Cancer

Aired September 9, 2010 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Brian Williams stand up to cancer.


KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Cancer kills 1.4 million Americans every single year.


KING: 4,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer every single day. By the end of this hour, another 165 will have gotten the news.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: It's not whether we're going to get it, it's just what form?

KING: Plus, Dr. Mehmet Oz and his cancer scare.


DR. MEHMET OZ, "THE DR. OZ SHOW": What you're about to see is raw, real, and exactly how it happened.


KING: What he learned that could save your life, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin, though, with breaking news. Secretary of State Robert Gates stepped in and may have stopped the planned burning of Korans in Florida. He made a phone call to Pastor Terry Jones, who had threatened to burn the Koran. Here's what the pastor told reporters this afternoon. Watch.


REV. TERRY JONES, PASTOR, DOVE WORLD OUTREACH CENTER: He has agreed to move the location. That, of course, cannot happen overnight, but he has agreed to move that. We felt that that would be a sign that God would want us to do it. The American people do not want the mosque there. And, of course, Moslems do not want us to burn the Koran. The imam has agreed to move the mosque. We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday. And on Saturday, I will be flying up there to meet with him.


KING: It's getting confusing. Let's go to CNN's John Zarrella in Gainesville, Florida, where the story seems to change by the minute. Now, John, let's get it. Is the Koran burning going to take place or not?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, at this point, Pastor Jones just a little while ago came out and said that he hopes what the imam told him was true. If it's not true, then their plans are right now in limbo. And they may have to rethink their position.

At this point, the Koran burning is not taking place, but that may be contingent upon whether or not Jones gets a meeting in New York on Saturday with the Imam Feisal Rauf, to discuss the moving of the Islamic Learning Center, the proposed Islamic Learning Center from near Ground Zero to another location. But right now, Larry, it's up in the air.

KING: But the imam seems to be saying, he will meet with Pastor Jones, but at a later date when things have cooled off. Is that what you've heard?

ZARRELLA: That's correct. And the imam -- but the imam here who was an intermediary in all of this is saying that, in fact, believes that they can have a meeting in New York on Saturday, and that a meeting in New York was somehow agreed to, not by the imam himself in New York, but by people in the imam's office said, okay, we'll meet with Pastor Jones on Saturday in New York. Whether that ever takes place now at this early date, at this juncture, it really remains to be seen. And then it remains to be seen, Larry, what Jones does. If he goes back to his original plan to go ahead with the burning of Korans on Saturday, or if he goes and he stays on the path that he's already said that he will not do it.

KING: Do you know why the FBI visited him?

ZARRELLA: No, we do not. It was about noon this afternoon. Four FBI agents were in for about 30 minutes inside. When they came out, they refused to say anything. They got right in their cars and left. And Jones only acknowledged this afternoon at one point that, in fact, he had been visited by FBI agents, but he didn't discuss what they said with him, to him.

KING: John Zarrella on the scene in Gainesville, Florida.

Let's go to New York City and Susan Candiotti, CNN correspondent there.

This all started last night, Susan, when Imam Rauf appeared on this program with Soledad O'Brien. And now he is -- what is he saying about this -- where are we, Susan? What's going on?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're left to scratch our heads too, because the Imam Feisal Rauf, here in New York, as John Zarrella stated, said, I never spoke with Pastor Jones, nor the imam who's standing next to Pastor Jones. So as far as what anyone in pastor -- in Imam Rauf's office might have said, we don't know.

But he did say this -- he issued a statement. And he said, I'm very happy that they're not going to be burning Korans, although I never spoke with him. And then he added, we are not going to toy with our religion or any other, nor are we going to barter. We are here to build peace, peace and harmony. And so with that--

KING: Is he --

CANDIOTTI: Yeah, go ahead.

KING: Is he saying or indicating that the Reverend Jones is lying?

CANDIOTTI: This is all we have is the statement that was issued. We don't know whether there is, in fact, going to be a meeting here on Saturday with Imam Rauf or anyone else in his office, or whether that might come in the future. Everything is in a state of flux right now, quite frankly.

And also, we're hearing from Donald Trump, believe it or not, who's now injecting himself in this. He issued a letter today. He sent a letter to one of the key investors in the mosque and Islamic Center project. And in the letter, he states that he would be happy to pay whatever this one investor paid, plus 25 percent, if in fact, he is willing to let him take it off his hands.

But then he kind of gives a dig to this investor, because he adds, not because I think that the location is spectacular, and he adds, parenthetically, because it's not, but Mr. Trump adds, "but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse". As you know, Mr. Trump has not been in favor of this project.

KING: No. And he is a very active New Yorker. Thanks, Susan.

CANDIOTTI: You're welcome.

KING: Susan Candiotti on the scene in Gotham. Donald Trump will be here Monday night to talk about that offer to buy the site on which the controversial Islamic Community Center is planned.

We have something very special for you on our blog. It's the poem "For our World," from our late friend, Mattie Stepanek. We thought it an appropriate read considering the news today. You check it out at

Back with Couric, Williams, and Sawyer, next.


TIME STAMP: 2110:11

KING: Brian Williams is the anchor and managing editor of NBC "Nightly News with Brian Williams. Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of CBS "Evening News with Katie Couric". And Diane Sawyer, the anchor of ABC "World News with Diane Sawyer. And in Atlanta, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent.

The three broadcast networks are joining together, the anchors are as well, they're joining forces to host the Stand Up to Cancer fundraising special on Friday, September 10th. The program can be seen on every major network, cable stations, and online in more than 195 countries around the world. To donate, you can go to or call 1-888-90-STAND. Phone lines are open already. Let's take a look at some of the sobering statistics about why it's important to stand up to cancer. And then we'll talk with our guests. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Odds of catching a ball at Major League game, 1 in 563. Odds of an injury from shaving, 1 in 6,385. Odds of tripping while texting, 1 in 10. Odds of getting cancer in your lifetime, 1 in two men, one in three women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's up to us--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To change the odds--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For our generation --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the ones we love--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For our future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you don't like the odds--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stand up. Stand up to cancer.


KING: This idea has raised $100 million since it all started. Memory serves me correct, Katie, was this your baby?

COURIC: It wasn't really my baby. It has many mothers, actually, Larry. I was talking to some similarly crazed, passionate, driven women, who felt that we need to really reach out to the entire nation and start a movement that would support the hardworking scientists all across the country, who are terribly underfunded when it comes to research dollars.

So as you know, Larry, because of my husband, Jay, who passed away of colon cancer in 1998, I was really focused on colon cancer awareness and raising money for that particular cancer. And I realized cancer kills 1.4 million Americans every single year. A person's diagnosed every minute. We know the statistics. We've heard them. But we had to do more. We had to really start a grassroots effort and be united in one cause, and have one goal together. And so that's why a group of women decided to embark on this endeavor back in 2008. We're doing it again in 2010. And you know, it's a real tribute to my colleagues, to Brian and Diane, and to really, everyone, because we've all been touched by cancer. We all have lost people we love--

KING: I know.

COURIC: --to this terrible disease. And I think that's why we're so eager to work together and forget our differences, which we really don't have any, but even our competitive spirits, and really just fight together for this common goal.

KING: Brian, where, in fact, does the money go?

WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, since we last did this, about $86 million of it has been handed to about 200 specialists in about 50 different institutions. And this, from the inception, and Katie alluded to this, was supposed to be a different kind of cancer effort. Part of the money goes to something bold. A high-risk, but high- reward effort, to look for cures on a fast track basis.

And, you know, there are any number of efforts that require and receive huge donations. This was an effort to put together teams, to go at it differently, be a little more aggressive. After all, there's no shortage of aggressive cancers out there, with their eyes on all of us.

KING: And Diane, if memory serves me correct again, Richard Nixon in 1969 declared war on cancer. Did the government ever carry out that war?

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Carried out the war, but you know, it's going to be a long series of discoveries, not just looking for solutions and cures to cancer, but what cancer is.

And we've been talking a lot about the fact that it seems that almost every decade, there is a revolution in the idea of what it is. I've been reading this book, did you guys read a book called "The Emperor of all Maladies" about the history of cancer research?

KING: I didn't read that. Did you read that?

WILLIAMS: No, I didn't.

SAWYER: Well, I've got--

COURIC: Will you send us your copy?

SAWYER: There's going to be a pop quiz on it at the end of this broadcast. But what was so intriguing about it was to see how so many of the breakthroughs happened accidentally, or what seemed to be accidentally, they discovered initially, the link environmentally to some cancers, because of chimney sweeps in London. And they just happened to look at the figures.

And we feel so strongly, and I know that the organization does, that if you bring people in a room, you never know the sentence that's going to trigger an idea in someone else's head.

KING: Yes.

SAWYER: And they say that could be it. That could be what we're looking for.

COURIC: And Larry, just to elaborate real quickly on what Brian said, these dream teams, you know, oftentimes, the world of cancer, like the rest of the world, network news, for example, can be very competitive, proprietary, and insulated. And basically, we're telling -- it's a mandate to these scientists. You must work together and you must collaborate. So we have teams from Johns Hopkins working with those from USC. We have those from Harvard working with MC Anderson. And you know, I've been saying lately, two heads are better than one and 10 heads are better than two. And if they pool their knowledge and their resources and their experience and their insights, it's only going to move science forward faster.

KING: Yes.

COURIC: So it's a very exciting new paradigm. And I think the scientists themselves are extremely enthusiastic and reenergized by the prospect.

KING: Dr. Sanjay Gupta's in Atlanta. He will be appearing on Friday's "Stand Up to Cancer" telecast. Sanjay, can you briefly explain to us why this disease is so mind boggling?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a tricky disease. First of all, cancer really leaves no part of the body spared. So it can affect just about anywhere on the body. Many times, it may be some time before someone even knows that they have it, because they may not have any symptoms at all, no pain, no symptoms.

So by the time something is discovered, oftentimes it can have already grown. But the problem with cancer is you can't think of it as one disease, even if it's brain cancer or colon cancer. It's often lots of different types of cells within the tumor that all behave a little bit differently, Larry. So this idea of trying to use a shotgun approach to try and kill all the cancer cells, you can see why that's difficult. Not all the cancer cells may respond.

In the past, what they did was they basically focused in on some common denominator between all these various cells. They divide rapidly. So let's kill all the cells in the body that divide rapidly. And people would get really sick, they would lose their hair, they would get nauseated. And now they're getting more specific in terms of therapy. But it's a complicated disease, even with individual tumors.

COURIC: And Sanjay, even--Larry?

KING: A civil war in your body, right?

COURIC: Larry, I was going to say to Sanjay, even with more targeted therapies, Sanjay, isn't part of the problem is that cancer is such a wily, insidious adversary, that even if a therapy is effective for a certain amount of time, it can often outwit even those effective therapies, and kind of outsmart it, and continue to have the cells multiply and the cancer grow.

GUPTA: You're absolutely right, Katie. I mean, tumor cells are the one cell that we always studied as medical students, because they're immortal cells. They'll do anything to preserve themselves, which exactly to your point means sort of outsmarting a lot of the therapies.

And also, as you know, if you kill a certain number of cells, let's say you kill 80 percent of cells in a tumor, well, the 20 percent that are left, they're the real warriors. They're the ones who are going to like really fight back on any types of therapy that are thrown at them later on. So you can create more aggressive tumors unless therapy is given consistently and appropriately.

KING: Brian, it is not the stigma it once was, though. Remember, people wouldn't admit they had it.

WILLIAMS: I still -- I came across a newspaper where I grew up at the Jersey Shore that still doesn't use the word. It won't use the cause of death.

KING: Really?

WILLIAMS: And once in a while, you find that old-school journalistic style. But, no, not at all. You know, I have a friend who says, it's not whether we're going to get it, it's just what form. You take a few city blocks in New York or L.A., Larry, that's roughly 11,000 people. That's how many Americans we lose every week to this disease. It's ubiquitous. Who doesn't know a victim? Who doesn't know someone living with cancer? Who doesn't know someone who's licked it and is walking around healthy today? That's what brings us together. We're a part of American society.

KING: We'll find out in a moment what's planned for Friday night. Talk about Mike Douglas, too. More with Brian, Katie, Diane, and Dr. Gupta, next.


ELIZABETH EDWARDS: As long as you're walking around, as long as you're not dead now, then you're alive. And--

KING: Look in a mirror.

EDWARDS: That's right.

KING: You're alive.

EDWARDS: You're alive, and you know, don't spend your time worrying about when it is you're going to die. Spend your time worrying about how you're going to live today.



TIME STAMP: 2122:54


MARTINA NAVRATILOVA, TENNIS CHAMPION: Scared -- I was scared when I first got the news, but immediately, I got into the solutions. I thought, what do we have to do to get out of this? And it's a bit of a shock to the system, again, unexpected, because I'm so healthy. I eat well, I exercise, of course. And I just didn't think that -- I didn't feel anything. I didn't feel -- and you couldn't feel it in a breast exam, because they were so small.

I was so lucky that we found it early, because of the mammogram. I thought, you know, I really owe this to the women out there that are putting it off to speak out and say, you know what, get that mammogram every year, because you never know when it's going to save your life.


KING: Remember, you can call 1-888-90-STAND or go to And you can start donating right now, even though the program airs Friday night.

Michael Douglas is scheduled to appear on Friday's fundraiser. He recently announced that he has Stage 4 throat cancer. And he talked about it with David Letterman. Watch.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": I think it says a great deal to the hopeful outcome of this that you're just taking it head on, for God sakes.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ACTOR: You have to, but this is the first week.


DOUGLAS: And the chemo and the radiation, the radiation continues to burn your mouth.


DOUGLAS: And it becomes more difficult to swallow. You can't take solids, so the whole trip is not a--

LETTERMAN: Now did they find it early enough for their liking?

DOUGLAS: I sure as (EXPLETIVE) hope so.



KING: Sanjay, isn't Stage 4 final stage?

GUPTA: Well, with this type of cancer, they talk about letters after the 4 as well, so you have A and B and sometimes C after that. Basically, it means that he has cancer that has spread to his lymph nodes, most likely. He didn't give a lot of details, as you heard there. To his lymph nodes, but not to the rest of his body.

But you know also, given that he's getting this sort of aggressive therapy early on, the chemo and the radiation, that's what you do for this type of cancer. In the olden days, you know, five, 10 years ago, things move fast, they would remove a lot of areas of the cancer, including sometimes a larynx, which would leave someone without the ability to speak naturally. Now chemo and radiation can sometimes obviate that.

KING: Diane, we all remember your colleague, Peter Jennings. He had stage 4 lung cancer and didn't last long.

SAWYER: Well, you know, Peter was the first to go on the air and to say to everyone, if I had only acted on what I knew I should do, listen to me, listen to me, listen to me. And I just, if I can, we're all hijacking your interview here, Larry--

COURIC: Sorry, Lar.

SAWYER: Yes, I want to ask Sanjay something, because he was talking about the endlessly elusive nature of the cancer cell itself. What is the nature of your hope right now, Sanjay, about a breakthrough? Have you seen anything that really excites you? Or does it seem to you that there are just cul-de-sacs every place you've been looking?

GUPTA: Well, you know, we certainly have made some great progress, Diane, overall the medical community in terms of some cancers. And I think it's always worth pointing that out, especially with regard to some childhood blood cancers such as leukemia. You know, children live a lot longer and live a normal life span, even, sometimes with these types of cancers.

I'm hopeful on two fronts. One is that I think we're getting much better at preventing cancer for a lot of the reasons that you all are describing. We understand better than we did before what some of the causes of cancer are.

But with regard to overall therapy, you know, I'm a neurosurgeon. With the deadliest type of brain cancer, something called a glioblastoma, we haven't made much progress in 50 years.

Now we know that we need to individualize therapy for each patient, and even within cell populations within the tumor for each patient. And that's very exciting stuff. We're going to be talking a lot about that, as you know, in this particular special. There are some teams across the country that are focusing on that very aspect of it. And they're taking care of patients who have fail all the various types of standard therapy today. And they're getting good results with these news types of therapies. So we may eventually, Diane, see a sea change in how we look at cancer, as opposed to these sort of drips that are coming out over the last several years.

COURIC: And I think the other exciting area--

KING: Brian, what's--

COURIC: --Larry, if I can interject real quickly, is that, you know, they used to be very specific, focusing on where the primary tumor was. And now I think a lot of the latest research, it might be looking at some hedgehog pathway or a variety of different proteins that may be excreted by cells. And they're finding that a certain therapy may be efficacious, say, in a brain tumor, a childhood brain tumor, and possibly in the way melanoma cells behave. So I think there's a lot of cross-pollination going on in terms of approaching cancers. So they have, you know, the research, that is, or the progress, that is occurring is actually showing real -- it's very efficacious in a variety of cancers.

And Sanjay, don't you think that's exciting as well? It's not so tumor-specific or site-specific.

GUPTA: I think so. I was so fascinated to read about some of the, some of this research, Katie, like you, probably. But this idea that there's some precursor to all cancers out there. That they do something, whether it's a protein, like you suggested, or something that turns on a switch on that allows these cells to divide. Some amino acid in the body. You figure that out, you figure what that is, that protein, you somehow learn how to turn that switch off. And you're right, you're not just talking about melanoma or glioblastoma, or colon cancer. You're talking about cancer, the whole disease, which is very exciting.

KING: Brian, what's planned for Saturday night? Who's going to be there? What are we going to see?

WILLIAMS: Well, first of all, Larry, I wanted to say I've spoken to Michael Douglas. He's the announcer at the top of our broadcast who says "from NBC News World headquarters in New York." And he's a friend. I mean, he doesn't call me hang out, but he's friend. He sounds terrific, fantastic. His spirit is actually the spirit that won World War II. So my money decidedly is on him. And I told him we'd see him on the other side of this treatment.

But Friday night, we have, to call it, Larry, a galaxy of stars would be to diminish the number of stars. We have on this one sound stage in Hollywood tomorrow night--

COURIC: Do you want my cheat sheet?

WILLIAMS: Katie, you have just the television--

SAWYER: Denzel Washington, George Clooney.

WILLIAMS: Kris Kristofferson. You've got Stevie. You've got Neil Diamond. So go ahead.

COURIC: Go ahead. Are you done with the musical guests? We divided it up, Larry, because we knew we couldn't remember everyone. Diane is going to do the movie stars.

SAWYER: I am. Denzel Washington, George Clooney, Renee Zellweger are going to be there. Will Smith is going to be there. Seth Rogin, Reece Witherspoon, Abigail Breslin, and many, many, many--

WILLIAMS: As many stars as you see in these little light bright plug-ins, which you see--

SAWYER: And we really do--

WILLIAMS: --is really so crushingly disappointing. It's really just like--

COURIC: Wait, I have to mention some TV--

WILLIAMS: But that's as many stars as we have on this thing.

COURIC: --stars, Sally Field, by the way, Rob Lowe, Randy Jackson, the Simpsons, Larry, are going to be there as well. Please don't do that. And a lot of actually celebrities who have experienced cancer themselves, like Christina Applegate and Lance Armstrong, Maura Tierney, who just completed treatment for breast cancer. So they're going to be telling their personal stories about how cancer affected them. Because, after all, there are 12 million people who are currently living with this disease. And many scientists think it will have to be treated as a chronic illness rather than necessarily cured, at least as an interim step.

SAWYER: And I know one of the things that we've said all along, and you especially stressed, Katie, is that this is going to be a night of music and hope and a lot of great spirit. So please don't turn in thinking --

COURIC: Yes, think we're going to be Debby Downers.

WILLIAMS: But no music from Katie, so it's safe to watch.

COURIC: Thanks a lot!

SAWYER: I, on the other hand --


SAWYER: Will be soloing with my zither.

KING: Brian, your mom died of lymphoma. Your sister died of breast cancer. Is it, therefore, hard for you to do this tomorrow night?

WILLIAMS: No, I consider it a mission to do this tomorrow night. Both women in my life -- before meeting and marrying my wife and having a daughter, both fought for six years. My mom for six years against non-Hodgkin's, my sister so bravely for six years. My dad, who I just lost at age 93, had a kidney removed from cancer, but didn't die of it. Died of a stroke and was a survivor for over 20 years of his life. Again, we all know people with it. It's one of the constants of life. May it someday be a life event, but not a fatal one. We're probably all still going to get some form or fashion of it. Let's just get a hold of that fatal part with good people like Dr. Gupta and all the physicians and specialists this will fund.

KING: And we thank all three of you. We're going to break and then Dr. Mehmet Oz will join us. This program will air Friday night on all the networks. Many cable stations carrying it. And you can sign up by going to or call 1-888-90-STAND. The number tonight, again, is 1 1-888-90-STAND.

Dr. Mehmet Oz has had his own health scare recently. He'll tell us about it and why it shocked him, next.


KING: Dr. Mehmet Oz, good guy, is the Emmy award-winning host of "The Dr. Oz Show." This week, he kicked off his second season by taking his viewers behind the scenes of his routine colonoscopy, which resulted in a kind of surprising outcome. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are going to feel this right now. I'm going to go around a corner. OK?

DR. MEHMET OZ, "THE DR. OZ SHOW": We're going around a corner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you have a polyp, Mehmet. Mehmet, you have a polyp.

I mean, I want you to actually own this. OK, look at that screen. I predict that will be the kind that if you left it in could become a cancer.


KING: OK. Why were you awake? I've had four colonoscopies and never been awake?

OZ: I have to say, I'd forgotten that moment until I just saw it again.

KING: I wasn't awake, but I thought I was -- I was awake -- I was what, in Never-Never Land?

OZ: In Never-Never Land, which some people like to be for a lot of their lives. Most of us don't like to be there, but they give you a medication that gives you a little bit of amnesia, so you don't quite remember what's happening. So you are sort of have dazed. And I remember lying on the gurney as this was being done, and Jon LaPook -- God bless him -- who is also part of the Stand Up to Cancer event that we're going to be at tomorrow night, was doing the procedure. And he was complaining about my long and windy colon. And it was all sort of, you know, hello and good fellows. And then, all of a sudden, he saw this lump and I saw it. And I looked at I was and trying to focus my eyes. And I said, that looks like a pre-cancerous polyp. But that can't be me. I don't have family history. I don't drink much. I don't smoke at all. I've not been overweight. How can that possibly be?

And then I had this sort of weird like you're in a car accident feeling, like everything's moving slowly, this kaleidoscope of images, trying to make sense of how could this possibly be.

KING: Pre-cancerous polyps are fairly common, though, in colonoscopies, aren't they?

OZ: Turns out about 25 percent of us, when we get screened. But the part that's scary isn't the pre-cancerous polyp. The part that's scary is that if I hadn't gotten this done -- there's someone watching this show today, right now, who --

KING: They're over 50.

OZ: If they're over 50 or if they've got a family history, over 40 -- if they don't get their polyp screened, they're going to be seeing a doctor in a couple years with cancer. Because almost all cancers of the colon comes from these polyps.

KING: And if cancer of the colon's late, you're gone, right?

OZ: And I've had that conversation. You look someone in the eyes and you got to tell them, listen, you're going to die from this. It's spread to your liver, to your lymph nodes. If only we had found it when it looked like that one that you just saw in my colon, we could have prevented it.

KING: You don't like to use the word stupid, but people who are afraid of it because they're going in through your rear, and you're worried, and you've got to take the test -- the night before you have to have bowel movements. It's a joke. The test is a nothing.

OZ: I mean, I was shaking the box up. I cannot tell you how simple I was. I wasn't even a good patient.

KING: You were nervous?

OZ: No, I wasn't nervous at all. I thought the whole thing was going to be sort of nothing. I filmed it just because I wanted to show how easy it was. That's the whole irony of the whole situation. And I have to admit this, in fairness to Doctor LaPook; he was busy squirting off lentils from my colon, because I had lentils the day before. I was really hungry.

KING: Didn't get it all out?

OZ: Didn't get it all out. So I was a fool going through this process. Then I thought to myself, do I tell people about this? And I thought, you know, if I don't tell people about this, there's going to be someone out there who looks and feels like me, who doesn't realize that you can have no symptoms -- because usually you don't -- and is not going to get this test done.

KING: Katie Couric did her own on television too.

OZ: Katie Couric did it. Many folks who --

KING: So let's be explicit. If you've had family history, start at age 40.

OZ: Right.

KING: Regular 50, and usually do it every three, four years.

OZ: Once you've had it once, you don't have any polyps, you can ten years. I have to do it a little more commonly now because I have this polyp and I could get more of them. But once you've been screened, every ten years. Larry, the key thing about colonoscopy is unlike other tests where they just tell you you've got a problem, they cure the problems with colonoscopy. It's right then, it's finished.

KING: Male and female.

OZ: Male and female. Please, this is another big mistake; same number of men as women die of colon cancer. It's not favoring one sex or the other. Everyone needs to be screened.

KING: More with Dr. Mehmet Oz. You know he is a good doctor. Is he a good patient? That's next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So in this case, you have something which happens to be the second leading cancer killer.

OZ: I can't help but think that if I'd let that stay for a decade, and delayed my colonoscopy until I was 60, that that could have developed into cancer. Am I right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're absolutely right.


KING: Are you a good patient?

OZ: I'm not as good a patient as I should. You know, part of the problem, Larry, is I'm a heart surgeon, as you know, I still operate. And heart surgery is controlled arrogance. You have to be confident enough that you can saw someone's chest open. You've been through it. Put there --

KING: You think you're God.

OZ: Once you start thinking you're God, you kill people. That's the -- you learn that early in your career. But you do have to have a confidence level that's a little bit bigger than perhaps is justified all the time. And you start to apply it to your personal life and it leads to all kinds of pain and suffering.

In this case, I would have delayed this thing for a couple of years. In many ways, as crazy as it sounds, the show saved my life.

KING: The cancer specialist tomorrow night, by the way, on all the networks, a lot of cable channels. Mehmet Oz will be participating. So you're now considered a high cancer risk, are you?

OZ: Twice the risk for colon cancer and polyps.

KING: So you have to do what now?

OZ: Well, I'm going to go back in, because I had all those lentils in the way, in a few months to make sure everything's OK. And then, after that, every three to five years, I'll be screened. By the way, I know how hard this is for a lot of people to do. If you go to, we have a very inexpensive program for people to get screened for colon cancer, know their blood pressure, know their cholesterol, their blood sugar.

We call it know your five, the five big numbers and tests you've got to get to make sure you're not going to die from missing something easy and curable. I want people to take advantage of it.

KING: They are what?

OZ: They are your waist size and your weight, your cholesterol level, your blood pressure, which is the number one cause of aging of all, your blood sugar, which is -- roughly 80 million people or maybe a little more have pre-Diabetes and Diabetes -- and then we have an opportunity for people to get their colons screened as well. You don't have to have a colonoscopy. There are other ways of making shoe you don't have anything bad happening in there.

KING: How about the PSA for Prostate?

OZ: I'm a little more concerned about the PSA. One of the problems with the PSA is that if you don't have a high risk of prostate cancer, if no one in your family's ever had it that you know of, then the benefit of the PSA declines a little bit. And sometimes you over-treat. So you should be treat how fast it's changing, rather than the absolute number. You have to be very cautious you're not treating infections, which will also create and elevation in that number.

KING: Can you explain in your mind why 37 percent of Americans between 50 and 75 have never had a colonoscopy? Thirty seven percent.

OZ: Shocked. And they'll be humbled, because 25 percent of them have these pre-cancerous polyps. And it's as easy to remove as you saw in that video from the show. Snip, snip, snip, it's out in the bucket and you're done. There's nothing to worry about. There's no chemotherapy, no radiation. I have, again, looked at people in the eyes and felt their pain. It deflates you as a doctor. I'll tell you, your soul is stripped out, because you know you cost yourself years of life with the people you love. KING: We'll talking about Dr. Oz's new season and his very successful show right after this.


OZ: Welcome, everybody to "Dr. Oz." You're behind the scenes. This is my dressing room. I've got all my great shirts over there. I've got my wonderful producers around. We're going over shows and scripts for today. We're talking about all kinds of cool stuff that maybe will change some lives.

Dr. Goth (ph) and I went to medical school, actually. How many years ago was that now? Twenty four years ago. So she can actually prove that I went to medical school. I don't care what Larry says; I went to medical school?

Did I study hard?


And you got an MBA at the same time.



KING: Special note, speaking of science, Steven Hawking is here tomorrow night. Bill Maher Tuesday, and Wednesday, United States Justice of the Supreme Court Stephen Breyer. How we doing so far?

Did you change the direction of the season premiere because of your cancer scare?

OZ: I did. We decided that -- listen, the whole idea for us this year -- the first year was about information, get people to understand what they can do to nudge their biology in the right direction. But I realized what you really want to do is motivate people so they act on what they've learned. So we've got some big ideas for that.

But what better way than to start with me? Look at my mess-ups or the opportunities you learn from the lessons I've been picking up. And maybe that will motivate you, because it ties you in emotionally. Larry -- and Oprah it taught me this -- people don't learn based on what they know. They change their minds based on what they feel.

If you can feel the fear of someone else who has been through what you should be going through, and you can understand how they benefit, how they had a bullet whiz past their head, you'll benefit. As your team came and shot behind the scenes, what I really want to do this year is give you simple little steps.

Take cancer as an example. On Monday we have this big show called Just Ten.

KING: Kicks off -- (CROSS TALK)

OZ: Why just ten pounds? Because if you can lose just ten pounds, assuming you're a woman, for example, under 200 pounds, you will reduce your chance of heart disease by 50 percent, reduce dramatically the chance of arthritis, of Diabetes, both by 50 percent, cut cancer rates down dramatically. Losing ten pounds is very doable.

KING: Another thing which might interest you, I have had heart disease. My father died of a heart attack. I have my 11 and 10-year- old boys check their cholesterol.

OZ: What did you find?

KING: They were high and now they went down. We put them on a little diet. They play a lot of ball, lot of exercise.

OZ: Let me shake your hand. That is very smart. That's huge, because you got them to prevent the early rusting that, by the time they had figured it out, would have been a liability for them for the rest of their life. That's what a good parent does.

There are some things in life that are knowable and there are some things that aren't knowable. If something is find out-able, learn about it. Today we have that technology.

KING: One of the season's recurring themes is five to know. You mentioned blood pressure. Most people treat it as, blood pressure, what is it? Very important?

OZ: Number one.


KING: Do it early on, wake you up to do it.

OZ: It's worth doing it, believe me. You can get it in the mall for free. Again, you can get it. We're organizing these easy screening tools for people to use if they just go to We'll give it to you for nothing. I just want you to get tested. Imagine a fire hydrant that's been opened up and the water is squirting in all directions as hard as it can. And it's dragging off, scraping off this delicate Teflon lining that covers the inside of your arteries. When that happens, the body scars it in. So you literally rust away your insides because you've got this high powered hose breaking up your blood vessels.

It's not a simple little problem. It's a very important one. The miracle of it all is it's very, very treatable, and usually without a lot of side effects.

KING: Dr. Mehmet Oz, this is second season? It seems like you've been here forever. How many stations are you on?

OZ: We're all over the country. We've had a wonderful time. As you know, we were talking. Miss Winfrey has been a huge sponsor of this whole process.

KING: You're going to a lot of stations -- you're going to go into her time slot?

OZ: In more than half the country, we're taking her slots when she goes off the air next year. They're big shoes to fill. And it's been very humbling and very gratifying to see the amount of interest that Americans have in their health. There's a voracious appetite if we do it right.

KING: How does she find you?

OZ: I was doing a show with my wife called "Second Opinion." It's a small show about what medical school is like and what you learn there. I needed a big-time guest. I don't know why to this day, but Oprah and Gayle King said, you know what, we'll take a chance on this guy. So they came on my show. So "People Magazine" wrote a piece about it. Their producers called and it was love at first sight.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments. And he will be part of this big special tomorrow night. Dr. Mehmet Oz right after this.



OZ: In 1960, the average woman in America weighed 140 pounds. That's what she looked like. Now if we watch what's happened to her, she's grown, ballooned to 165 pounds. Now that's stunning to me. But, more importantly, if we continue at this rate, the average American will go from 160 pounds to 190 pounds.


KING: Amazing. Great show. Dr. Mehmet Oz, he's everywhere in the country. Season two starts Monday. He will be on that cancer special everywhere tomorrow night. How do you make a complex medical issue simple?

OZ: It's all about passion. When someone says it's difficult to explain, it means they don't understand it well. My teachers -- I had great ones -- when they could really get into the nitty gritty of what made something happen, everyone understands it.

KING: How, as a heart surgeon, do you know so much? I know Sanjay Gupta -- of course, he's a brain surgeon. But every time you bring up any medical subject, he knows it.

OZ: Well, Sanjay and I are both of a tradition where we first trained in general surgery. Before we could actually do our specialty, we had to learn about the entire body. We fixed bones. I did brain surgery. He did some heart surgery. So you learn a little bit about the whole body.

Then you go into your specialty area. But I tell you, what I love doing is being with people who need just a little bit of advice, and nudge their body in the right direction. And that, for me, makes it very easy to explain it.

KING: What makes a great surgeon?

OZ: What makes a great surgeon is the ability to respect the people around you, because what makes great surgeries, not the surgeon, is the people who put the patient to sleep, who run the heart/lung machine, run the OR -- by the way, same thing for a show, as you know. It's fun to sit here and host a show, or talk to people in my audience, as you do. But when you have people around you who are wonderful at making it easy to do the right thing, it just flows.

KING: The late Dr. Michael Debakey (ph) did surgery into his 90s. I asked him once, do you take your job home? And he says, you bet I do. And any doctor who doesn't isn't worth his salt.

OZ: It's a very jealous mistress. The people in your life who are willing to commit to you have to respect that.

KING: You know a lot about that patient you're operating on tomorrow?

OZ: You know a lot about them. You know their family. When you walk out there to talk to them, they don't care about the last patient or next patient, or what you're doing on next week's show. They care about what's happening to the person that they love so dearly that they have trusted their life to you.

That's, by the way, why I still operate, because it grounds me and centers me. Any doctor who has had the honor of taking care of other people appreciates that.

KING: Does surgery come first to you?

OZ: Always. It always will.

KING: Even though you're a television star?

OZ: I don't know about the star part. I like answering questions. It's a lot of fun for me. It really is joyful to be able to be out there on the stage. But there's nothing like holding a human heart in your hand and knowing you're doing something good for the person that you're taking care of.

KING: You're a great credit to the -- you looking forward to tomorrow night? It's going to help a lot of people.

OZ: I'm very psyched. By the way, there's this whole program that they're putting together. It talks it to people where they live, which is why it is going to work.

KING: It's called Stand Up To Cancer. You won't miss it tomorrow night. It will be everywhere. There will be numbers to call to help. Dr. Mehmet Oz, season two starts Monday. We want to share some happy news from the "LARRY KING LIVE" team. Eleanor McMannis (ph), one of our talented senior producers, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl today. Isabella Hardy McMannis in at a healthy eight pounds, 14 ounces. There she is.

OZ: There she is. Look at that.

KING: Mother and daughter are doing well. And daddy Michael and big brother Cameron are beaming with pride. Congratulations and welcome to the world, Isabella.

Stephen Hawking is here tomorrow night. Donald Trump Monday. Bill Maher on Tuesday. Right now, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?