Things aren’t all gasoline fights and being really, really ridiculously good looking for Zoolander actor Ben Stiller. Sometimes things get really, really ridiculously serious. The actor revealed that two years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer — the second most deadly cancer, but also one of the most survived. He credits early detection for saving his life.
In an interview with The Howard Stern Show, the 50-year-old actor revealed that he had no idea something was wrong with him.
“It came out of the blue for me,” he said. “I had no idea….If I hadn’t gotten the test, my doctor started giving it to me at 46, I still wouldn’t know.”
Stiller says the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test is what saved him.
“I wanted to talk about it because of the test, because I feel like the test saved my life,” he said.
He took the test twice in six months and in the second test, his PSA went up, signaling that something was wrong.
“After the second time, I started to get a little worried. I was diagnosed on Friday the 13th, then I had until August 23rd to get ready for the surgery. So I just had the summer to hang out and think about it.”
Ben went through a series of tests including biopsies and an MRI until doctors concluded that he had prostate cancer.
“At first, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was scared. The one thing that it does is it just stops everything in your life when you get diagnosed with cancer because you can’t plan for a movie – you don’t know what’s going to happen,” he continued. “The controversy about the test is that once you get treatment for prostate cancer, things can happen: incontinence, impotence. It’s the second most deadly cancer, but it’s also one of the most survived cancers, if it’s detected early.”
Since his diagnosis, Stiller is in remission, but he still keeps up on his tests to make sure he remains cancer-free.
“Afterwards, it just gives you an appreciation for life,” he said. “Every six months I’m taking my PSA test to make sure I’m clear.”
Kudos to Ben for raising awareness about how important it is to get your prostate checked out. We’re so glad you’re okay!