LOS ANGELES — Hollywood actor Ben Stiller revealed on Tuesday that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago and he survived it due to early detection and surgery.
“It came out of the blue for me,” the 50-year-old said in a radio interview. “I had no idea.”
Stiller said it was a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, a simple blood test he received during his annual physical examination that saved his life. He was tested and treated in his 40s, instead of taking the PSA test at the age of 50 for men as recommended by American Cancer Society.
“I got diagnosed with prostate cancer Friday, June 13, 2014,” Stiller said. “If I hadn’t gotten the test — my doctor started giving it to me at 46 — I still wouldn’t know.”
Stiller’s doctor gave him a PSA test and found that his levels were high. Although he wasn’t immediately concerned, the doctor re-administered the test six months later and found the PSA had gone up even more.
“After the second time, I started to get a little worried,” Stiller said. Then he went through a series of tests, including an MRI and biopsy, to determine if he definitely had prostate cancer, which confirmed he did.
Then Stiller had surgery to remove his prostate. “On Sept. 17 of that year I got a test back telling me I was cancer-free. The three months in between were a crazy roller coaster ride with which about 180,000 men a year in America can identify,” he said.
Stiller said that “what I had — and I’m healthy today because of it — was a thoughtful internist who felt like I was around the age to start checking my PSA level, and discussed it with me.”
He wanted to deliver the message to people that having early test could save life.
“This is a complicated issue, and an evolving one,” Stiller wrote in an essay. “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.” PNA/Xinhua – northboundasia.com