Preacher Agrees to Cancer Surgery

Televangelist Gene Scott, who relied on faith healing, says his disease is now ‘out of control.’

Gene Scott, a flamboyant televangelist who previously relied on faith healing to cure his prostate cancer, announced he would undergo surgery Monday at UCLA Medical Center, saying his disease had run “out of control.”

A statement by three of his organizations said the 75-year-old preacher had discovered this month that a “golf ball-sized cancer” had spread to his bladder from his prostate, where cancer was first diagnosed four years ago. The statement said Scott would also undergo radiation treatment and chemotherapy, which could prolong his life for two years.

The spread of cancer “comes as a sobering shock to this religious leader who advocates faith healing” instead of regular medical care, said the statement by his Los Angeles University Cathedral, University Broadcast Systems and Wescott Center. Scott made the announcement of his impending surgery on his global telecast Sunday.

A spokeswoman for UCLA Medical Center could not confirm Scott’s surgery, saying no patient had checked in under his name. Calls to Scott’s toll-free message line were not returned.

Scott — a blunt-talking, cigar-chomping preacher who claims 15,000 Los Angeles congregants and a worldwide satellite television audience — planned to return to his regular broadcast this Sunday. Scott has never dissuaded followers from receiving medical treatment, saying only that he wanted to “give God the first shot” before resorting to traditional medical care.

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