Radio Host Battles Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer

BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  A bombshell cancer announcement from one of Baltimore’s most popular radio personalities. WBAL Radio’s Ron Smith told his audience Monday morning he’s gearing up to fight pancreatic cancer.

Derek Valcourt has more on the announcement and the disease.

As he does every day on the radio, Smith cut right to the chase: it’s cancer in an advanced stage, he’s going to fight it and, while he does, he says his show must go on.

“A few weeks ago, I began feeling unwell,” Smith said.

WBAL Radio talk show host Ron Smith made the announcement at the start of his show Monday morning. His doctor told him a CAT scan discovered the tumor.

“And he looked at the pictures and at the technical report from the radiologist and he said, `You have grade four pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to your liver…your lungs and so on,'” Smith said.

The 69-year-old says the cancer is inoperable but treatable. He’ll give listeners updates on his condition but he won’t talk about the cancer on his show. Instead, he’ll continue to focus on the politics and social issues that made him so popular, all while undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments.

“Once I have the schedule then, with help of the management here, which has been so supportive, then the Ron Smith Show will continue with Ron Smith except on days when I can’t be here,” Smith said.

It was pancreatic cancer that killed Apple CEO Steve Jobs earlier this month. One of the more serious cancers, it forms in the pancreas, which sits just behind the stomach and is essential in the digestive process. Symptoms include jaundice and persistent abdominal pain that leads to back pain.

“By the time back pain occurs in pancreatic cancer, the cancer may have progressed considerably,” said Dr. Mike Didolkar.

That is the case with Ron Smith’s cancer, but he insists he’ll have no pity party.

“Something’s going to get you in the end and what people should know is all is well. All is well,” Smith said.

Smith says although he’s not happy about it, he’s at peace with his diagnosis and knows he’ll be in chemotherapy for the rest of his life.

Most people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live less than five years.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • B.K.

    Very sorry to hear this. I enjoy Smith’s broadcasts and personality. Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst, and at stage IV it usually indicates that despite treatment the patient has less than a year to live. Best of luck, Ron, you have my prayers.

  • sheriff

    Although I always don’t agree with Rpn’s Liberterian philosophy, I admire his arguments on many subjects. We have taken each other to task over the years but at this time I just want to offer prayers & well wishes for he & his family. God speed Ron.

    • Bobby Washington

      Actually If all you wanted to do was offer prayers, then that’s all you would have done, and you would have shelved the other two thirds of your comment about how you don’t agree with his Libertarian ideals. Just my two cents,

      Get well soon Ron

  • Rae

    He and his family are lucky if he even makes it through the first bit of treatment; my friend died of what sounds to be the same stage/symptoms just 2 weeks after entering the hospital. Had just moved her and were going to begin treatment the next day – they had predicted about 6 months left, but it came swiftly. Cherish every moment, folks.

    • colliemom

      What an unkind public comment; are you thinking that reading this is going bring comfort or pain to him and to his family? Think before you write, folks. I wish him well; each case is individual and unpredictiable.

  • Thomas M

    Dear Ron, Are prayers from my family will be with you. I remember when you first started broadcasting here in Baltimore back in the mid 70’s on TV WBAL. The news would start with Classical Gas and WBAL Action News. I have been listening to you since 1984 on 1090 WBAL .What a Great radio show you have, Mr Reason keeps everybody informed. But today people of Maryland and the radio world have to pray for the man that has been a part of are life in many ways and many years……We love you Buddy!!! Get Well SOON !!!

    From Thomas M

  • NFD

    Ron, I loved to listen to you when I lived in Baltimore and you came on after Allen Prell. Pray and give your heart to Jesus. Trust me, if you do that you’ll be fine with whatever comes. I’ll be thinking of you…. God will be with you!!!

    • Matthew-Daniel Stremba

      Allan Prell! Now THERE was real talk radio, i.e. radio talk. God broke the mold after He made him. Once he was canned, we turned off WBAL-AM never to turn it on again.

      Matthew-Daniel Stremba

      • sheriff

        Matthew, Alan Prell was enjoyable but way too liberal left. I enjoyed his banter between Ron & Alan but co’mon, give us a break. Because someone dosen’t agree with your philosophy you tune them out completely. I hate Fox channel but tue in occasionally to hear what O’Reilly has to say. One always needs another point of view lest they’re groping in the dark. Maybe I should send you a flashlight eh?

  • Thomas M

    Mr Ron Smith is the working class hero of Talk Radio from Baltimore and beyond.Legend of a Mind who works the waves of the radio. News is a part of or all of his life…..Hall of fame is something he never spoke of but his drive in life was news at the moment.!!!! Ron Smith is a class above all.

  • Thomas M

    When good news is good it’s good. But when bad news is bad ………….Nobody can write bad news…..

  • Thomas M

    The life of Ron has always been good!!

  • Ted

    I agree with M-D Stremba. Good bye to bad rubbish. So long Snuffy Smith!!!!

    • Shelli

      WOW! Your mama must be proud to have raised such a human.

  • Dan

    Thanks Ron, you will never be forgotten.

  • Stephen

    Ron I wish you the best luck in your treatments and hope that you can beat it. Thanks for the many years of great broadcasting!

  • sheriff

    Bobby, Like you to, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to exercise my 1st amendment rights & add a big F…..K you.

    • Bobby Washington

      Very nice of you to provide a second example of the way your parents raised you with class and dignity. Well done. Oh and by the way, I just happened to be lucky and stumble upon this response you left for me. In the future if you are replying to a post, you may want to place your cursor over the word “reply” that appears in blue text at the bottom of said post, kind of like I just did? Makes it a lot easier for those of us hanging on your every word to find. Welcome to the wonderful world of internet message boards, enjoy your stay.

      Get well soon Ron, best of luck with your treatments

      • yura

        this is not the place for krap……..

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