Ben Stiller shocked his fans on Tuesday when he revealed that he had been diagnosed with an “aggressive” form of cancer two years ago and he secretly underwent surgery to have his prostate removed.
During an interview with “The Howard Stern Show,” Stiller explained that he was diagnosed with “immediately aggressive” prostrate cancer in June 2014 and two months later, he underwent surgery. Daily Mail reported that the actor was told he was cancer free in September of that year.
Now, 50 year-old Stiller is urging men to get tested for prostate cancer at an earlier age.
“It came out of the blue for me,” Stiller said. “I had no idea.”
Stiller’s tumor had been growing for five years, and if he hadn’t had a prostate-specific antigen test, he never would have known it. He took to Twitter to link to a blog post he wrote about his cancer experience.
“As I learned more about my disease (one of the key learnings is not to Google ‘people who died of prostate cancer’ immediately after being diagnosed with prostate cancer), I was able to wrap my head around the fact that I was incredibly fortunate,” Stiller wrote. “Fortunate because my cancer was detected early enough to treat. And also because my internist gave me a test he didn’t have to.”
“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 added. “The three months in between were a crazy roller coaster ride with which about 180,000 men a year in America can identify.”
“Taking the PSA test saved my life. Literally. That’s why I am writing this now,” Stiller wrote. “If [his doctor] had waited, as the American Cancer Society recommends, until I was 50, I would not have known I had a growing tumor until two years after I got treated. If he had followed the US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, I would have never gotten tested at all, and not have known I had cancer until it was way too late to treat successfully.”
Please keep Stiller and his family in your thoughts and prayers!