- TODAY co-host Al Roker, 66, is experiencing a proud family milestone: his daughter Leila’s graduation from The American University of Paris.
- The prostate cancer survivor, his wife Deborah Roberts, and Leila’s siblings spent some quality time commemorating the grad, which serves as a bonus reminder for people to get in and get their screenings.
- Black Americans are more at risk than white Americans for getting diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to an expert to SurvivorNet, therefore it is even more imperative that African-Americans get checked.
The prostate cancer survivor not only reminds us of the benefits of early detection by recently kicking cancer, but he also gets to stick around for important moments like this, which is an extra special reminder for parents out there to go get checked.Read More
“Congratulations to our princess,” the happy dad wrote on his Instagram. “We are so incredibly proud.”
Roker shared a “boomerang” post of his daughter in a graduation gown throwing her cap up in the air while holding a celebratory glass of Champagne.
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Roker shared another post with his entire family on hand for the momentous occasion.
“Four years that tested and made you an amazing adult,” the news anchor wrote next to a photo of Leila, he and his wife Deborah Roberts, 60, along with their son Nick, 18, and Courtney, 33, Roker’s daughter with ex-wife Alice Bell.
Roberts did her own tribute to the lovely Leila on her own page.
“It’s a day we have dreamed of and cannot believe is here,” the ABC journalist wrote. “Bursting with pride doesn’t begin to describe how we feel about our sweet little girl who has become a young woman and now college graduate. Leila, we are so very proud of all that you are and all that you’ve achieved during a challenging four years. You have struggled, triumphed and risen time and again. Congratulations.”
Leila is a journalist, according to her Instagram page, following in her parents’ footsteps. She contributes to TODAY.com‘s women’s lifestyle news division, called TMRW TODAY.
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Roker’s Prostate Cancer
Roker admitted he was very close to putting off an annual physical due to COVID, which has unfortunately been a common story. Luckily, he came to his senses and made it to his appointment, only to find out that he had prostate cancer.
“I cannot stress enough to people, go out there and get your checkup, make sure you get checked,” the father of three said recently.
“Listen, I was going to put off my annual checkup, decided back in September, let me just get this done,” Roker said. “And if I hadn’t, (it) would not have detected the prostate cancer, which was very aggressive.”
Roker had surgery immediately after, having his prostate and some surrounding tissue and lymph nodes removed.
“My outlook and outcome might have been completely different, so I cannot stress enough to people, go out there and get your checkup, make sure you get checked,” he said.
Not shying away from discussing his diagnosis at the time, Roker decided to share his unfortunate news to help the African American community especially, saying that 1 in 7 Black men and 1 in 9 men overall will be diagnosed in their lifetime with prostate cancer.
Dr. Edwin Posadas, the medical director of the urologic oncology program at Cedars-Sinai, says the incidence of prostate cancer in Black men is 60% higher. “And they are two to three times more likely to die from the disease,” Dr. Posadas says.
Prostate cancer is typically a slow-growing cancer that is easily treated if caught early, so the best thing you can do is get in for early screening, which experts recommend doing around 40 or 45 years old, depending on your family history.
Dr. James Brooks, a urologic oncologist at Stanford Medicine, explains the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test, which is used to screen for prostate cancer.
“If a man has an elevated PSA, he has somewhere around a 20% to 40% chance of having prostate cancer,” Dr. Brooks says. “I would recommend that they get a PSA at age 45.”