Al Roker has revealed he’s been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will be undergoing surgery to have his prostate removed.
The Today weather forecaster, 66, explained on Friday’s show that he wanted to share his story to raise awareness of the disease. He was diagnosed on September 29.
Roker highlighted that one in seven African-American men — one in nine men overall — would be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
“It’s a good news/bad news kind of thing,” Roker told viewers. “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 set 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 shared.
Roker said of the moment his doctor told him the news, “When he started, he closed his door and said, ‘I always like to have these discussions face-to-face.’ And I was like, ‘Uh-oh. Well, that doesn’t sound good.’
“You hear the word ‘cancer’ and your mind goes. It’s the next level, you know?”
Roker was by himself when he received the diagnosis as he hadn’t told his wife, ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts.
“I feel badly because I didn’t tell Deborah to come with me,” he said. “In hindsight, boy, I wish I’d told her to come.
“She was upset. And once she got past that, the reporter in her kinda took over. And then she’s been at everything ever since!”
“Fortunately his cancer appears somewhat limited or confined to the prostate,” Laudone shared on Today, “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.”
Roker said it was important to tell his story.
“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.”
Today anchor Hoda Kotb, along with other notable personalities, sent Roker well-wishes online.
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