Raising Awareness for All the Men Out There
- Raising awareness saves lives, and actor/filmmaker Ben Stiller, a prostate cancer survivor, intends to do just that.
- The Zoolander star, 56, battled the disease in 2014, and when he felt comfortable enough to talk about his health experience a couple years later, famously said a PSA test saved his life. He has continued to advocate for the disease ever since.
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and it begins in the walnut-shaped prostate gland between the rectum and the bladder.
- The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer in 2021, and that about 1 man in every 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his life.
Raising awareness saves lives, and actor/filmmaker Ben Stiller, a prostate cancer survivor, intends to do just that.Read More
Ben Stiller’s Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
In a 2016 appearance on The Howard Stern Show, the Zoolander actor shared that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2014 at age 48.
The Escape at Dannemora director spoke about how the American Cancer Society recommendations suggest that average risk men begin screening for the disease at age 50 — and pointed out that had he followed the recommendations, his cancer would not have been detected.
“The PSA test is the only early screener for prostate cancer and, right now, the United States Preventative Services Task Force does not recommend to take the test,” he told Stern. “I think the American Cancer Society says you should discuss it at 50. If I hadn’t taken the test — my doctor started giving it to me at 46 — I would not have known. Right now, I still wouldn’t have known.”
Ben credits his doctor’s initiative to begin administering the test early, and the effectiveness of the PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) test with saving his life.
He had no symptoms or prostate cancer family history, and his disease was only discovered because his doctor had him take a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for his annual physical. After several tests confirmed that there was cause for concern, Ben had his prostate removed surgically.
Now cancer-free, his message is still really important. Even though the ACS recommendation is to begin screening at age 50, men should have a conversation about when is the best time to start with their doctors.
Ben still takes a PSA test every six months to make sure his cancer hasn’t returned.
Learning About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and it begins in the walnut-shaped prostate gland between the rectum and the bladder.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer in 2021, and that about 1 man in every 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his life.
It is important to know that higher risk men may have to start screening earlier. For example, men of certain ethnicities, such as African-American men, are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer — so a doctor may opt to begin testing in the mid-40s. Men with a family history of prostate cancer may also want to consider screening early.
In a previous conversation with SurvivorNet about cancer risk, Dr. Edwin Posadas, a urologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said it’s really important for men to be aware of their individual risk.
“Prostate cancer affects men from all walks of life, but it affects them differently,” Dr. Posadas said. “So, Latino men may not develop prostate cancer at the same rate that African-American men do, but there are problems that exist within lifestyle that are accelerated and becoming a problem in the Latino population.”