Ben Stiller revealed Tuesday that he was diagnosed with "aggressive" prostate cancer at 48 and underwent surgery to treat it. Stiller, now 50, opened up about his previously private battle during a lengthy chat on The Howard Stern Show. According to Stiller, he's decided to speak out now so that other men will feel comfortable asking their doctors to test them for prostate cancer at an earlier age.
"If I hadn't gotten the test, my doctor started giving it to me at 46, I still wouldn't know," Stiller told Stern Tuesday, according to Us Weekly. "I wanted to talk about it because of the test, because I feel like the test saved my life." The test in question is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, a blood test that can show the early signs of a man unknowingly suffering from prostate cancer.
Stiller noted that some "controversy" still remains regarding prostate cancer treatment, include some men's fears that it can inadvertently cause impotence. "It's the second most deadly cancer, but it's also one of the most survived cancers, if it's detected early," Stiller explained.
When Stiller first received his diagnosis, he reached out to his Meet the Parents co-star Robert De Niro, who had previously beat the cancer several years earlier. "I called him right away," Stiller told Stern. Now, Stiller added, he undergoes regular testing to make sure he's cancer-free. "It just gives you an appreciation for life," he said Tuesday. "Every six months I'm taking my PSA test to make sure I'm clear."