Al Roker Reveals Prostate Cancer Diagnosis, Will Undergo Surgery: 'It's a Little Aggressive'
"I don't want people thinking, 'Oh, poor Al,' because I'm gonna be okay," the Today co-host said
Al Roker revealed Friday that he's been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
During the Today show broadcast, the weatherperson, 66, announced the diagnosis, adding that he'll undergo surgery next week to have his prostate removed. Roker said he wanted to publicly share his health battle to raise awareness about the form of cancer, which affects one in nine men.
"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."
"We'll just wait and see, and hopefully in about two weeks I'll be back [on the show]," he added.
The TV personality's doctor, Dr. Vincent Laudone, said Roker's cancer "appears somewhat limited or confined to the prostate."
"Fortunately his cancer appears somewhat limited or confined to the prostate, 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," Laudone said Friday.
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The cancer was detected during a routine physical when his doctor found that he had an "elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA)" in his bloodwork results. The father of three then had an MRI and a biopsy that confirmed the cancer on Sept. 29.
"When he started, he closed his door and said, 'I always like to have these discussions face to face,' " Roker recalled of being told the diagnosis. "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 said he attended the doctor's appointment alone but regrets not having his wife of 25 years, Deborah Roberts, there with him.
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"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."
Roker also opened up about returning to work after the diagnosis and the "weird feeling" of his coworkers not seeing anything outwardly different about him.
"I looked in the mirror, there was nothing outwardly different. But I knew there was something intrinsically, inherently, internally different," he recalled. "... I don't want people thinking, 'Oh, poor Al,' because I'm gonna be okay."