Ben Stiller talks about prostate cancer diagnosis and the role of the PSA test that saved his life
It’s hard to imagine that someone as great and funny as Ben Stiller could have been diagnosed with cancer at some point. However, Stiller himself revealed that back in June 2013, after undergoing tests as a part of his annual medical routine check-up, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Talking on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, the actor talked candidly about his diagnosis. He said that no one is expecting to be diagnosed with cancer. He was only 46 at the time when he was diagnosed and it put his life on a hold.
He said that the worst thing about being diagnosed with cancer is that it puts a stop to your life. You cannot plan anything in the future because of the uncertainty of what might happen.
He was lucky however, he admitted because they caught the cancer in it’s early stages and the treatment was successful in sending him into remission.
He said that he owed his early diagnosis to his internist asked to do the PSA test on him. Prostate-specific antigen test, or PSA test, is a blood test typically used to screen males for prostate cancer.
The test examines and measure the amount of PSA in a patient's blood; PSA is an antigen produced by cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate. NHS says the PSA test is controversial because it's "unreliable" and "can suggest prostate cancer when no cancer exists.
The PSA can not only diagnose aggressive prostate cancer that needs treatment, it can also find slow-growing cancer that may never cause symptoms or shorten life. It is still not recommended by many physicians but in Ben’s case, it saved his life.
He said that he was glad that his doctor had done the PSA test. It had helped him to fight the disease early on. He encouraged men to get the PSA test. He said that men should get it at a younger age than the optimum age of 50 just to keep an eye out.
He said that he had no family history of the cancer found in him and he was not in the high risk group but one test paid off and he wants everyone to get it. Ben also said that he does the PSA test every six months to keep an eye out for cancer.