Actor Ben Stiller has revealed that two years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The Zoolander star was just 48-years-old at the time, and while he told family and friends, he kept the news away from the press until now.
In an interview on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show today (Tuesday, October 4th), the star opened up to the host about what happened;
"It came out of the blue for me. I had no idea," Stiller explained. "At first, I didn't know what was gonna happen. I was scared. It just stopped everything in your life because you can't plan for a movie because you don't know what's gonna happen."
Stiller said he wanted to talk about it publicly now to raise awareness of the test he took that detected the cancer; "I wanted to talk about it because of the [PSA] test ... I feel like the test saved my life."
The prostate-specific antigen is a blood test that screens males for prostate cancer, and is done by measuring the mount of PSA in a patient's blood, which is a protein produced by both cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate.
"It's the second most deadly cancer, but it's about one of the most curable," Stiller explained to Stern.
Stiller, who has two children with his wife, actress Christine Taylor, said he also got in touch with his Meet the Parents co-star Robert De Niro when he heard the news, who had beat prostate cancer several years ago. "The first thing I did when I got diagnosed was get on the internet to try to learn. I saw De Niro had had it. I called him right away," he said.
Stiller ended up having surgery to remove his prostate, and thankfully is now cancer-free but is tested regularly.
He told Stern; "Afterwards, it just gives you an appreciation for life. Every six months I'm taking my PSA test to make sure I'm clear."