Hollywood A-lister Ben Stiller has revealed doctors removed his prostate during a battle with an aggressive form of cancer. The Zoolander star opened up about the diagnosis for the first time during an appearance on the Howard Stern radio show, saying that the news "came out of the blue".
Appearing alongside his surgeon, the 50-year-old said he was scared and his life was immediately put on hold."It just stopped everything in your life because you can't plan for a movie because you don't know what's going to happen," he explained. He later reached out to his Meet The Fockers co-star Robert De Niro, who had also been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003.
Stiller said he hoped that by telling his story he would help raise awareness about the disease. Urging younger people to speak to their doctors about any concerns, he said: "I wanted to talk about it because of the test... I feel like the test saved my life."
In a blog post published on Medium on 4 October, the father-of-two delved deeper into the his personal experience and the days after he received the news in 2014. "As I learned more about my disease (one of the key learnings is not to Google 'people who died of prostate cancer' immediately after being diagnosed with prostate cancer), I was able to wrap my head around the fact that I was incredibly fortunate," he wrote.
While he is now cancer-free, he still attends regular check-ups. He added that the ordeal has been left with more of "an appreciation for life. Every six months I'm taking my PSA test to make sure I'm clear".
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."
Stiller's acting credits include comedy classics such as Meet The Parents, There's Something About Mary and Tropic Thunder.