Al Roker announced his cancer prognosis directly to his TODAY audience this morning, revealing he will be undergoing surgery to “take care of this.”
Beloved American weatherman and TODAY co-host Al Roker publicly announces his struggle with prostate cancer today. By doing so, he wishes to highlight that 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with this cancer in their lifetime. In addition, the odds for fellow African American men are even higher.
“It’s a good news-bad news kind of thing,” Al reveals on the show. “Good news is we [are catching] it early. Not great news is that it’s a little aggressive, so I’m going to be taking some time off to take care of this.”
As a result, Roker will undergo surgery this coming week in New York City. Dr. Vincent Laudone of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will remove Roker’s prostate to combat the aggressive cancer.
“We’ll just wait and see, and hopefully in about two weeks, I’ll be back (on TODAY),” Al clarifies.
“Fortunately his cancer appears somewhat limited or confined to the prostate, but because it’s more aggressive, we wanted to treat it, and after discussion regarding all of the different options — surgery, radiation, focal therapy — we settled on removing the prostate,” his doctor says in the same TODAY appearance.
Al Roker Announces His Prostate Cancer To Help Other Men
For Roker in particular, however, the announcement is far more important than his prognosis.
“The problem for African American men is that any number of reasons from genetics to access to health care, and so we want to make it available and let people know they got to get [a checkup],” he adds.
According to TODAY, “The Prostate Cancer Foundation recommends African American men talk to their doctor about prostate cancer at age 40. The American Cancer Society recommends discussing screenings at age 45 for African Americans and men who have had a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer before 65.”
In addition, “the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends all men ages 55-69 talk to their doctors about a screening.”
Moreover, cancer surgeon Dr. Carol Brown, specifies on TODAY that “African American men are 50% more like to get prostate cancer and twice as likely to die from it than white men in the United States.”
“Another important message to know is that there are no symptoms with early prostate cancer,” Brown says to Roker. “So screening saves lives, and African American men need to [and] should get a screening usually starting at age 40.”
Roker’s prognosis comes by way of a routine physical. Within, his bloodwork showed an elevation of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) which is a warning sign. Following this, Roker underwent an MRI, then a biopsy, before confirming his diagnosis.
The diagnosis comes as Roker recovers from a recent shoulder surgery. We wish him all the best.