Comic legend Ben Stiller has revealed he was diagnosed with “mid-range aggressive cancer” prostate cancer in 2014, during an appearance on the Howard Stern Show.
The 50-year-old writer, director and actor had surgery to treat the cancer, and was operated on by Dr. Edward Schaeffer, who joined him on the show.
“It came out of the blue for me,” Stiller said of diagnosis on Stern’s show. “I had no idea.”
Following his appearance, Stiller posted a heartfelt post on blogging site Medium, going into further detail about his experience and urging people to check themselves for cancer at younger ages.
“I got diagnosed with prostate cancer Friday, June 13th, 2014. On September 17th of that year I got a test back telling me I was cancer free,” he wrote. “The three months in between were a crazy roller coaster ride with which about 180,000 men a year in America can identify.”
Stiller, a father of two, also discussed the importance of the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test that he says “saved his life”. The test can detect early signs of an enlarged prostate, which is a symptom of prostate cancer.
The ‘Zoolander’ star got the PSA test because of an internist who told him he was around the age that men should start checking their PSA levels.
Dr Schaeffer performed a “robotic assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy” which removed the cancerous tissue.
Stiller’s Medium post discusses the debate surrounding the PSA test and provides links for those interested.
“This is a complicated issue, and an evolving one,” he concludes. “But in this imperfect world, I believe the best way to determine a course of action for the most treatable, yet deadly cancer, is to detect it early.”
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