During an appearance on the Howard Stern Show and subsequent blog post earlier today, Ben Stiller shared details about a scary experience he went through that is far too common among men.
And we don’t mean getting your frank and beans stuck in a zipper.
While speaking with Stern, Stiller revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago at age 48 after undergoing a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test at age 46. Following that first PSA test, Stiller’s doctor continued to test him before sending him to a urologist for a “gloved finger” exam, conducting an MRI and finally, ordering a biopsy. Three months after that biopsy came back positive for a “mid-range aggressive cancer,” Stiller received a cancer-free diagnosis thanks to a successful laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.
The reason why Stiller spoke up about his experience was to raise awareness about the PSA test, a procedure that’s sometimes criticized for leading to unneeded radiation or surgery.
According to the Meet the Parents actor's statement: “There has been a lot of controversy over the test in the last few years. Articles and op-eds on whether it is safe, studies that seem to be interpreted in many different ways, and debates about whether men should take it all. I am not offering a scientific point of view here, just a personal one, based on my experience. The bottom line for me: I was lucky enough to have a doctor who gave me a ‘baseline’ PSA test when I was about 46. I have no history of prostate cancer in my family and I am not in the high-risk group, being neither — to the best of my knowledge — of African or Scandinavian ancestry. I had no symptoms.”
Bear it in mind at your next checkup. If you don't know when that is, go schedule one.