Ben Stiller Reveals Secret Battle With Prostate Cancer

Johnson, Z. (10/04/2016). Ben Stiller Reveals Secret Battle With Prostate Cancer. Retrieved from http://www.eonline.com/news/799578/ben-stiller-reveals-secret-battle-with-prostate-cancer

Ben Stiller revealed on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show Tuesday that he was diagnosed with “immediately aggressive” prostate cancer at the age of 48. The Zoolander 2 actor, now 50, appeared on Howard Stern‘s program with his surgeon, Edward Schaeffer, and discussed his experience for the first time publicly. “It came out of the blue for me,” Ben said. “I had no idea.””At first, I didn’t know what was going to happen, so I was scared. I was scared,” he admitted. “The one thing that it does is it just stops everything in your life when you get a diagnosis of cancer, because you can’t plan for a movie, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Ben said he had no family history of prostate cancer. “My dad didn’t have it,” he told Stern. “I’m not in the high-risk group.” Even so, his doctor, Bernard Kruger, was able to detect the disease by conducting a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test during a yearly physical.The blood test examines and measures the amount of PSA in a patient’s blood, which is produced by cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate.

“It’s a very controversial subject, the PSA test. A 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. I think the American Cancer Society says you should discuss it at 50,” Ben said. “If I hadn’t gotten the test—my doctor started giving it to me about 46—right now I still wouldn’t have known.”The first PSA test revealed Ben’s levels were high, but not alarming. Even so, Ben’s doctor re-administered the test six months later and found his PSA levels were even higher than before. “After the second time, I started to get a little worried,” he said. Ben went through a series of tests, including an MRI and biopsy, before doctors confirmed he had prostate cancer.”Anybody who’s had to deal with any type of disease, it brings up so much in your life,” Ben said. “And the way that it starts to happen is you go from one text to the next test, and then it starts to become more of a reality.”

“The first thing I did when I got diagnosed was get on the Internet to try to learn,” he said. “I saw [Robert] De Niro had had it. I called him right away.” Ben, who is married to actress Christine Taylor, 45, then shared the news with their two kids: Ella Stiller, 14, and Quinlin Stiller, 11. “I told them I had something I had to deal with,” the actor recalled. “They were pretty cool with it.”Ben later had surgery to remove his prostate. “Afterwards, it just gives you an appreciation for life,” he said. “Every six months I’m taking my PSA test to make sure I’m clear.”Why share his story now?

“I wanted to talk about it because of the test,” Ben said. “I feel like the test saved my life.”

“The controversy about the test is that once you get treatment for prostate cancer, things can happen: incontinence, impotence,” said Ben, who produced the new movie Why Him?. “It’s the second most deadly cancer, but it’s also one of the most survived cancers, if it’s detected early.”

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