(WCMH) — During his program Monday afternoon, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh revealed he has been diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer.

The long-time radio host said he will be off the air through at least Thursday while he is treated.

Limbaugh said he first realized something was wrong during his birthday weekend on January 12. The diagnosis was confirmed by two medical institutions a week later.

He said he considered keeping the diagnosis a secret from listeners, but knew his extended absences from the show would lead to questions.

“Every day I’m not here, I’ll be missing you and thinking about you,” Limbaugh said as he ended his program Monday.

James Golden, who serves as a call screener and producer for Limbaugh’s program under the name ‘Bo Snerdley,’ asked for people to ‘pray with us.’

Limbaugh’s program airs on nearly 600 radio stations across the country, including WTVN in Columbus. He recently signed a long-term deal to continue his show into the new decade, CNN reported.