Former News 12 anchor Carol Silva.

Former News 12 anchor Carol Silva. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Former News 12 anchor Carol Silva says the cancer she had battled nearly three years ago has returned. 

In a phone interview Tuesday, Silva — who told a gathering at a cancer fundraising event Monday evening at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury about the recurrence — confirmed that "I have been diagnosed again with a spot in my lung lining and a spot on my rib." Silva, who turns 68 Friday, said she had not yet discussed treatment options with her oncologist, who has been traveling. 

The veteran anchor — a legendary News 12 figure over her 30-year run there before retiring in 2019 — was first diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in the summer of 2019. At the time, Silva — who never smoked — said she had experienced a persistent cough and frequent bouts of laryngitis. Tests later determined that she had non-small cell lung cancer that had spread to her brain. After undergoing treatment at Northwell Health's Monter Cancer Center in New Hyde Park and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, she said in September 2020 that her cancer was in remission.

On Tuesday, Silva said that after undergoing a PET (positron emission tomography) scan in June, her doctor later performed a biopsy, which revealed the spots on her rib and lung lining. She said she has also had a "persistent cough, which never completely went away but started to peak again. The cough is apparently the irritation to the lung from the spot, but I thought it was because of the radiation I've had in the past, so I didn't pay much attention to it. These days, instead of saying to total strangers that, 'Please, pardon my cough but it's not COVID, it's just the results of radiation' — I can say, 'It's not COVID, it's cancer.' I said that last night and it was so freeing." 

Silva first revealed the diagnosis Monday at a gala for Islip-based Mondays at Racine, which (per the organization's website) provides "free hands-on integrative wellness and beauty services" to people undergoing cancer treatment.

Silva said she wanted to make her battle with cancer public "the first time because I wanted people to understand that there is no sin or guilt that should be attached to cancer. The reason I made it public this time is because so much of the battle is about attitude. I wanted to be able to say that my attitude is my attitude, no matter what's happening. That lesson is important and I really believe it."

Her speech at Monday's Racine event was based on a recent Johns Hopkins study that concluded, Silva said, "there is a connection between attitude and health."

Asked about her own attitude at the outset of this new battle, Silva told Newsday, "I feel fabulous." 

Silva departed News 12 in December 2019, then — when the pandemic shutdown began — had to postpone her most pressing post-retirement project (helping with her daughter's wedding. She subsequently wrote profiles and columns for the magazine Long Island Woman, and plunged into charity work — some of that allied with her church, St. Dominic's in Oyster Bay. As the pandemic restrictions eased, she became a regular presence at charity events around Long Island and a speaking guest at others. Last October, for example, she spoke at a TEDx talk in Farmingdale about cancer.

"I did not retire from life," she now says, "I 'reinspired.' My goals [upon leaving the news business] were to grow my soul and to help other people, and that's what I've been doing. Sometimes you help people in private ways because the people around us can have little needs that they don't even know they have. So I've spent a lot of time helping people around me with all kinds of different challenges in life." 

Silva also began a podcast over the summer, which she hopes to launch later this month. Called "The Silva Lining," she has recorded three episodes — two of them with Mike DelGuidice (longtime Billy Joel bandmate and lead vocalist and pianist for the tribute band, Big Shot) and comedian Joey Kola. "We've known each other forever," she said. "I tried to do some audio wraparounds for the episodes but during the month of July, I got laryngitis, so I haven't been able to finish." 

Of her own family, she said "they're good. ... They are super, super concerned but Bob [Reilly, her husband] is ready for battle."

She adds, "As mom goes, so goes the family. But I'm not worried, or any more worried now that I was the first time around." 

Former News 12 anchor Carol Silva says the cancer she had battled nearly three years ago has returned. 

In a phone interview Tuesday, Silva — who told a gathering at a cancer fundraising event Monday evening at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury about the recurrence — confirmed that "I have been diagnosed again with a spot in my lung lining and a spot on my rib." Silva, who turns 68 Friday, said she had not yet discussed treatment options with her oncologist, who has been traveling. 

The veteran anchor — a legendary News 12 figure over her 30-year run there before retiring in 2019 — was first diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in the summer of 2019. At the time, Silva — who never smoked — said she had experienced a persistent cough and frequent bouts of laryngitis. Tests later determined that she had non-small cell lung cancer that had spread to her brain. After undergoing treatment at Northwell Health's Monter Cancer Center in New Hyde Park and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, she said in September 2020 that her cancer was in remission.

On Tuesday, Silva said that after undergoing a PET (positron emission tomography) scan in June, her doctor later performed a biopsy, which revealed the spots on her rib and lung lining. She said she has also had a "persistent cough, which never completely went away but started to peak again. The cough is apparently the irritation to the lung from the spot, but I thought it was because of the radiation I've had in the past, so I didn't pay much attention to it. These days, instead of saying to total strangers that, 'Please, pardon my cough but it's not COVID, it's just the results of radiation' — I can say, 'It's not COVID, it's cancer.' I said that last night and it was so freeing." 

Silva first revealed the diagnosis Monday at a gala for Islip-based Mondays at Racine, which (per the organization's website) provides "free hands-on integrative wellness and beauty services" to people undergoing cancer treatment.

Silva said she wanted to make her battle with cancer public "the first time because I wanted people to understand that there is no sin or guilt that should be attached to cancer. The reason I made it public this time is because so much of the battle is about attitude. I wanted to be able to say that my attitude is my attitude, no matter what's happening. That lesson is important and I really believe it."

Her speech at Monday's Racine event was based on a recent Johns Hopkins study that concluded, Silva said, "there is a connection between attitude and health."

Asked about her own attitude at the outset of this new battle, Silva told Newsday, "I feel fabulous." 

Silva departed News 12 in December 2019, then — when the pandemic shutdown began — had to postpone her most pressing post-retirement project (helping with her daughter's wedding. She subsequently wrote profiles and columns for the magazine Long Island Woman, and plunged into charity work — some of that allied with her church, St. Dominic's in Oyster Bay. As the pandemic restrictions eased, she became a regular presence at charity events around Long Island and a speaking guest at others. Last October, for example, she spoke at a TEDx talk in Farmingdale about cancer.

"I did not retire from life," she now says, "I 'reinspired.' My goals [upon leaving the news business] were to grow my soul and to help other people, and that's what I've been doing. Sometimes you help people in private ways because the people around us can have little needs that they don't even know they have. So I've spent a lot of time helping people around me with all kinds of different challenges in life." 

Silva also began a podcast over the summer, which she hopes to launch later this month. Called "The Silva Lining," she has recorded three episodes — two of them with Mike DelGuidice (longtime Billy Joel bandmate and lead vocalist and pianist for the tribute band, Big Shot) and comedian Joey Kola. "We've known each other forever," she said. "I tried to do some audio wraparounds for the episodes but during the month of July, I got laryngitis, so I haven't been able to finish." 

Of her own family, she said "they're good. ... They are super, super concerned but Bob [Reilly, her husband] is ready for battle."

She adds, "As mom goes, so goes the family. But I'm not worried, or any more worried now that I was the first time around." 

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