The sports commentator writes exclusively in The Herald today about his experience just weeks after undergoing surgery to remove the tumour, which also saw him lose one healthy kidney and part of his second kidney.
The 78-year-old was diagnosed six months ago after abnormalities were detected in a urine sample during a routine check-up.
Macpherson, who lives in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, said his cancer was of the "sleekit kind" - displaying no symptoms and never preventing him from enjoying hobbies including golf and cross-country running.
He said doctors blamed the disease on inhaling second-hand cigarette smoke during his career as a pundit and journalist.
Macpherson writes: "When I was told this condition was closely linked to smoking and informed them I had never had a cigarette in my mouth in my entire life, they were adamant in stating that I was almost certainly a victim of passive smoking."
Doctors told Macpherson the cancer could have been developing for up to five years and might have turned life-threatening if it hadn't been caught by chance this year.
As it is, the writer and broadcaster has been given the all-clear, and pays tribute to the "unsung heroes" who saved his life.
He said: "I've spent years writing about overpaid, pampered footballers. Now I have a chance to praise the real heroes of the medical profession, who it's no exaggeration to say have saved my life."
Here Archie tells his story in full
Six months ago when they told me I had cancer my first thought was of the day my grandfather died in the 1940s.
With the family grouped around the doctor, my aunt asked him what "carcinoma" meant in the document he was signing. When told it was cancer I can still see her body recoiling and hear the pleading tone of her voice as she asked him, "Could you not make that a wee ulcer?"
It was as if the disease carried with it the stigma of moral impurity and that his reputation as an honest hard-working man would be put into question if such a thing got out. Ignorance and superstition in that era kept cancer enshrouded in its evil Mephistophelean mystique, especially as the word was only ever aired then as the whispered declaration of a death sentence.
Tragically it still can be, of course.
But several generations later at least the shrouds have been pulled back from the subject. Thankfully, cancer can now be talked about in public in less hushed and funereal tones and the more that can be added to the understanding of its highly complex nature and diverse outcomes the more lives will be saved.
So I readily take the witness stand, because my cancer was of the sleekit kind. It was coexisting with my sense of wellbeing and fitness, encouraging me to believe life was a pure dawdle.
A simple, routine urine test indicated otherwise. For in the tube between bladder and kidney lay a limpet mine of cancer. It could have been there for three to five years, according to my surgeon Ian Dunn, without any apparent sign of any debilitation and then had it been left without intervention I would have been in trouble, big time.
So it had to come out, pronto. The surgeon is not a man to mess about. He had to tell me that the surgery would be major and to the layman's ears, drastic. "We may have to employ the bludgeon," he informed me. By that he meant that to get at the cancer and effect a cure, a perfectly healthy kidney and the tube to the bladder would have to be sacrificed.
The fact I felt no sense of panic or dread stemmed principally from the surgeon's manner and his explanation: crystal clear and concise, suggesting he had been over this ground many times before, which made me aware that any feeling of stoicism you may think you are acquiring in such circumstances is mainly derived from recognising the expertise into which you are placing your trust. For it would not be MY battle with cancer as it might so easily be luridly described. It would be his and that of the other surgeon, Ahmad Almushatat, assisting him in a planned three-hour operation.
As a consequence I will now be within a whisker of normality because the "bludgeoning" did take place at Monklands Hospital some weeks ago, in which it was manifestly obvious that Ian Dunn's keyholing surgery skill in duelling with the kidney and bladder was more D'Artagnan than Fred Flintstone. And in support, I experienced deeply impressive front-line nursing, encapsulated in one two-minute period when nurses, after dealing with the initial discomfort I was experiencing, moved on to handle a fragile old lady with the delicacy of connoisseurs handling a Ming vase, followed immediately by four of them rushing to constrain an angry man who would not lie properly in his bed by using techniques borrowed from both Florence Nightingale and Hulk Hogan. So I relish the opportunity to offer anecdotal evidence of having been surrounded by consummate professionalism, producing a successful outcome. The cancer was eradicated.
But why did this occur in the first place? What trick had nature played by allowing me to believe I was in the pink. It hadn't. It had been deceived too. When I was told this condition was closely linked to smoking and informed them I had never had a cigarette in my mouth in my entire life, they were adamant in stating that I was almost certainly a victim of "passive smoking". Not the congenial message about my fellow man I wished to learn as I was about to bid fond adieu to a healthy kidney.
I had to add things up. As I am fond of a dram or two I had indeed spent many pleasant hours in howffs around the world with people around me creating the conditions of Auld Reekie at its worst. I could take you to a bar in Marseilles where, before the bans, I could sit happily for hours, as a non-smoker, naively savouring the almost exotic aroma of the wonderful Gauloises French cigarettes as innocently as breathing in the fragrance of a pine forest. I also worked blissfully in editorial offices and press-boxes in the past which had the sulphuric stench of Hades about them as I recall. My only plea is, well, I didnae ken. But I ken noo.
I rose from that last consultation with a suppurating sense of indignation, a born-again crusader against the scourge of smoking, in a mood best described by PJ Wodehouse when he wrote: "It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine." I had suddenly become very wintry. But I was thrown into confusion when minutes after being told this, my wife and I encountered at the back door of Hairmyres Hospital a frail woman, in her ward gown, who had trundled her medical "drip" behind her, like a shopping trolley, standing close to a NO SMOKING sign, surreptitiously puffing away at her fag as if, paradoxically, her very life depended on it.
We each have our comfort zones in life and we cherish them. This was clearly hers, sickly though she appeared. Even though I felt she was insulting the very people who at great cost were trying to nurse her, I couldn't bring myself to intrude on it and chastise her as, in any case, she might have told me to shove off, as apparently happened at the Beatson Clinic, the epicentre for cancer treatment, where, at one stage, they employed two security men to clear the cordons of smokers from around the building. The two quit after a week because of the abuse inflicted on them. So it was clear I had to find a wider audience than a single transgressor.
That frail, smoking figure on the drip has embodied for me the gigantic task the NHS faces in increasingly having to come to the rescue of those who dinnae ken.
For when I learn that kidney cancers are now occurring astonishingly among people in their forties, that Scotland is the only nation in the UK where lung cancer remains the most common cancer, that our country's mortality rate through alcohol consumption remains nearly twice as high as in England and Wales and one of the highest in Europe, I shudder at the thought of how these dedicated people I encountered in the past couple of months will cope with a tsunami of ailments hitting them in future as our society seems largely indifferent to the self-immolations of reckless lifestyles.
Yet although my narrative will bring no solace to those who are suffering the worst depredations of cancer, hopefully it will encourage some to see the value of grappling with any uncertainties about their health in the knowledge that even in a harassed medical system skills and care exist to take an early diagnosis and turn it into an affirmation of life, not its reverse.
And even were it to mean, in extreme, you have to sacrifice an organ in the process, as in my case, or, like a woman opting for a pre-emptive double mastectomy, what you are being offered is the privilege of bartering with mortality. In such circumstances there is no such a thing as a bad deal.