Al Roker reveals prostate cancer diagnosis
A long-time member of The Today Show team shared sad news with the public on Friday morning; 66-year-old weatherman Al Roker announced that he's been diagnosed with prostate cancer and must undergo surgery to have his prostate removed, USA Today reports.
The weatherman and co-host explained why he made his diagnosis public, saying he wanted to promote awareness of how often African American men are impacted by the illness.
According to Roker, one in seven African American men, and one in nine men overall, will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
"The problem for African Americans 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," Roker said.
Despite his diagnosis, Roker remains positive.
"It's a good news-bad news kind of thing," he 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 is scheduled to undergo surgery next week at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where Dr. Vincent Laudone will perform the procedure.
"We'll just wait and see, and hopefully in about two weeks, I'll be back (on TODAY)," Roker said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States.
As far as symptoms go, different people have various symptoms associated with prostate cancer and some men do not have symptoms at all.
The CDC lists the following symptoms as a possible indication of prostate cancer and a reason to contact a healthcare provider:
-Difficulty starting urination.
-Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
-Frequent urination, especially at night.
-Difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
-Pain or burning during urination.
-Blood in the urine or semen.
-Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.
The CDC also notes that it is possible the above symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.
In addition to his 42-year-long career with NBC's Today Show, Roker has also authored several books.
And he's endured previous surgeries to his right shoulder, left hip, and right knee within the last four years.
The ever-optimistic anchor expressed a desire to get the surgery done so he can return to his normal routine.
"I don't want people thinking, 'Oh, poor Al,' you know, because I'm gonna be OK," Roker said.