This year, around 175,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. They’ll join the nearly 3 million U.S. men who already have the disease. Around 30,000 men will pass away from prostate cancer before the year is up. However, the chances of surviving this disease today are greater than ever thanks to increased awareness and progress in research and treatment.
There’s no question that public awareness of diseases and health conditions eventually lead to increased knowledge and a better understanding of those conditions. Celebrities are a great avenue for awareness and no celebrity is a better advocate than one who has experienced an illness or medical condition themselves. Check out six celebrities who have or had prostate cancer and used their celebrity status to increase awareness of the disease.
The beloved golfer was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997 after a series of routine physicals revealed a steady increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA)–an indicator that the prostate is enlarged. Though Palmer had no physical symptoms, he regularly scheduled exams that included PSA tests. Palmer elected for surgery to remove the entire gland followed by radiation therapy and the golf extraordinaire has been cancer-free ever since. He also became a major advocate for PSA testing and increased awareness of prostate cancer.
Robert De Niro
Academy Award winner and acclaimed actor Robert De Niro’s life was temporarily altered in 2003 when he received a prostate cancer diagnosis at the age of 60. Thanks to his diligence in receiving regular annual health exams, the cancer was caught early. De Niro received treatment and moved on with life.
Actor and comedian Ben Stiller shared his 2014 diagnosis in an essay written for Medium in which he emphasized the importance of getting an annual PSA test, a test he says saved his life. Stiller had the tumor removed and has been cancer-free since September 2014.
Sir Ian McKellen
Known for his role as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and the elder Magneto in the X-Men movie series, English actor and bonafide knight Sir Ian McKellan set the record straight about his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2012. He addressed the concerns on his personal website after rumors began swirling that he was battling the disease. The rumors were partially correct. McKellan confirmed that he had received a prostate cancer diagnosis several years earlier, but he also assured his fans the cancer was contained and shouldn’t cause concern.
Like Rober De Niro, the former Secretary of State received his cancer diagnosis in 2003 after several tests showed a steady increase in PSA levels. Powell shared his diagnosis the morning he went in for surgery to have the cancer removed and has been cancer-free since the procedure.
Sir Roger Moore
In 1993, the former James Bond actor was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Moore had his prostate removed and was cancer-free for over two decades before succumbing to a different type of cancer at the age of 89 in May 2019.
A recurring theme among these celebrity survivors is annual men’s health exams that include PSA tests. These tests save lives. If you or a loved one need an annual exam, contact EliteCare today to request an appointment.