8 celebrities who have opened up about prostate cancer: What you need to know
It's November, which means Movember is in full swing.
Movember is an event dedicated to raising money and awareness for men's health issues such as suicide and prostate cancer.
After non-melanoma skin cancers, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer found in men. Nearly 20 per cent of all new men's cancer cases in Canada is anticipated to be prostate cancer.
The prostate, located just below the bladder, exists only in men. Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate gland grow out of control, becoming swollen. Symptoms of prostate cancer include:
Blood in the urine or semen
Decreased stream strength when urinating
A frequent need to urinate — especially at night
Pain while urinating or ejaculating
Although these symptoms can be challenging to share with others, many celebrities with prostate cancer have spoken publicly about it.
Although he had no family history or symptoms, Ben Stiller was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014.
The actor first spoke about his experience in 2016, praising the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.
"Taking the PSA test saved my life," he wrote in a blog post.
Stiller underwent surgery to remove the tumour and is now cancer-free.
Sir Ian McKellen was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the mid 2000s.
The "X-Men" star opened up about his diagnosis in 2012, stating: "If it's diagnosed early, it's manageable."
Although he initially feared his prostate cancer, he's learned to live with the fear thanks to frequent check-ups.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is another Hollywood icon whose life was saved by a PSA test.
De Niro, who lost his father to cancer in 1993, was diagnosed 10 years later in 2003 at the age of 60.
However, he continued working during his struggle with the disease and fully recovered after having a prostatectomy.
While some symptoms of prostate cancer can be hard to recognize, early detection saved Robert De Niro from a much more difficult struggle.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had his prostate gland removed due to cancer in 2003.
Following his surgery, he began contributing to the Prostate Conditions Education Council.
On his 73rd birthday, he noted via Facebook: "I am a prostate cancer survivor and a spokesman for prevention. Men should have regular prostate examinations…Regular exams allowed me to deal with this problem early and make a full recovery."
In 1997, pro golfer Arnold Palmer was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer despite showing no physical symptoms.
The condition was discovered during a routine physical exam that included a PSA test. Palmer underwent a prostatectomy and returned to professional golf for the next nine years.
After his recovery, the PGA icon launched a prostate cancer awareness campaign urging men to get screened for the disease.
Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier was the first Black performer to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1993 and remained active after his recovery, writing books and serving as an ambassador of the Bahamas to UNESCO and Japan.
"I was happiest making films, writing books, and surviving prostate cancer," he once said.
Warren Buffett was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. He labelled it as "not remotely threatening" due to early diagnosis.
After 44 days of radiation therapy at the Nebraska Medical Center, Buffett completed his treatment in September 2012.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Playwright and composer Andrew Lloyd Weber opened up about the pain associated with prostate cancer in his book, "Unmasked."
"I did think of suicide," he said. "It was so painful and I couldn’t sleep."
He was declared cancer-free in 2010.
The bottom line
Men of all ages should remain health conscious.
However, as you age it becomes imperative to get regular check-ups.
Moreover, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can help detect prostate cancer early — which can save your life.
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