Robin Roberts Says She's Been in 'Constant Contact' with Al Roker's Wife After His Cancer Diagnosis
"Both of them have been dear friends … I am not surprised at all that he has handled it with the grace that he hasn't run from it," Robin Roberts said
While speaking with Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, the 60-year-old Good Morning America anchor shared an uplifting message for Roker, 66, and Deborah, 60, after his prostate cancer diagnosis last month.
Robin said of Deborah, her ABC News colleague, "I have been almost in constant contact with her and helping her navigate."
"Al Roker, he's got this," Robin — who was previously battled breast cancer — continued. "This man, talk about somebody who is resilient, already back at work."
Robin said she is "so proud" of Roker for sharing his message with the world, adding, "Both of them have been dear friends … I am not surprised at all that he has handled it with the grace that he hasn't run from it. That he is willing to let his journey be a lesson for others and I'm very confident that things are going to go well for him. My heart goes out to both he and Deb. He's a good man."
Last month, Roker revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer during a Today show broadcast. 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 at the time. "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."
Then, about a week later, the Today weatherperson gave fans an update on his health, writing on his Twitter and Instagram account, "Relieved to let you all know that my #prostatecancer surgery is done and back home."
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By late November, Roker was back on the Today show set after undergoing the five-hour surgery. At the time, he offered another health update while catching up with his co-hosts, including Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Carson Daly, and Craig Melvin.
"Great medical care and the love of friends and family — it goes a long way," said Roker.
Roker thanked everyone for the support and said that he felt "good," adding with a laugh: "Let me tell you, after that first week you can get that catheter out. I'm feeling good!"
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According to Roker's doctor, Dr. Vincent Laudone, his cancer "appears somewhat limited or confined to the prostate" and the two of them "settled on removing the prostate."
The cancer was detected during a routine physical when Roker's 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 regretted not having his wife of 25 years there with him.
"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."