On Friday’s episode of NBC’s Today, longtime weatherman/co-host Al Roker announced that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Appearing with his doctor, Dr. Vincent Laudone, Roker wanted to share his story to put a spotlight on the disease and the importance of early detection, especially Black men, who are at greater risk.
Thankfully, Roker’s cancer was detected early enough to give him a great chance of recovery. “It’s a good news-bad news kind of thing,” Roker said. “Good news is we caught 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.”
Roker revealed that he will be undergoing surgery next week at New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to have his prostate removed. Dr. Laudone, who will perform the surgery, said “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.”
1 in 9 Black men (1 in 9 men overall) will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. In revealing his own diagnosis, it is Roker’s hope that those at risk would be encourage to get checked regularly, so that early detection is possible. “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 checked.”
We wish Al Roker a very speedy recovery! For more information, check out the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s website here!