LATEST: DANA REEVE was forced to reveal she is suffering lung cancer after an American tabloid published the news on the internet without her permission.

The 43-year-old widow of CHRISTOPHER REEVE - who never smoked - hurried out a statement just 24 hours after the revelation first appeared on the National Enquirer site.

Her statement read: "Based on the imminent release of a tabloid article regarding my personal health, my family and I have decided to release our own statement."

Reeve's news comes just ten months after her quadriplegic husband died and just six months after her mother HELEN died from complications of Ovarian cancer surgery aged 71.

But Dana is determined to battle the disease.

The statement adds: "I have an excellent team of physicians and we are optimistic about my prognosis. I hope before too long to be sharing news of my good health and recovery."