5 Celebrities You Might Not Have Known Had Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting only men, with one in eight men developing prostate cancer in their lifetime. Any man can develop prostate cancer, including celebrities — some of whom have used their experiences to advocate for increased awareness and early diagnosis.
To celebrate National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, here are five celebrities who you may not have known had prostate cancer, and a look at their experience.
1. Ben Stiller
“So, yeah, it’s cancer.”
That’s how “Zoolander” actor Ben Stiller started the Medium essay that revealed he had prostate cancer. Stiller was officially diagnosed on June 13, 2014. After an MRI and painful biopsy, he had the tumor removed and was declared cancer-free in September 2014.
Throughout the essay, Stiller was adamant about the importance of taking a PSA test — a blood test that measures the presences of prostate-specific antigens.
“Taking the PSA test saved my life. Literally. That’s why I am writing this now.”
2. Ian McKellen
In 2012, rumors were flying that “Lord of the Rings” actor Ian McKellen had early prostate cancer. They weren’t true. At least, not at the time.
The 73-year-old actor shared on his personal website, “This was diagnosed six or seven years ago. There is no cause for alarm. I am examined regularly and the cancer is contained. I’ve not needed any treatment.”
About six in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over 65. McKellen was a prime candidate for the disease, and thanks to early detection and regular checkups, he remains cancer-free today.
3. Colin Powell
Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the summer of 2003. He wasn’t surprised when he found out because for five years his PSA levels had always been high, and he thought something wasn’t right.
After having three biopsies, and the final one saying he was positive for cancer, he told BlackDoctor.org, “At that point, I knew sooner or later that something would show up. And because I’m black, I have a higher propensity for prostate cancer than white folks do.”
Powell was correct, because African American men are twice as likely to die of prostate cancer than white men and five times as likely than Asian men. He went public with his cancer on the morning of his procedure, and today is cancer-free.
4. Robert De Niro
Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003 at the age of 60. Thanks to the actor being so proactive about his personal health and regular checkups, doctors say the cancer was caught early enough for the actor to make a full recovery.
De Niro, who lost his father to cancer in 1993, didn’t share how his prostate cancer was treated, but has said he’s made a full recovery.
5. Roger Moore
English actor Roger Moore, best known for replacing Sean Connery as Agent 007 in the iconic “James Bond” franchise, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1993. After having his prostate removed, he remained cancer-free until earlier this year, when he died of another type of undisclosed cancer at the age of 89.
The beloved actor, who spent more than 20 years as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, also lost his stepdaughter to cancer when she was only 47 years old.
All photos courtesy of Facebook