Article Nov 30, 2016

You are no longer passing

Ben Stiller 'fortunate' to have beaten cancer

Ben Stiller is "really fortunate" to have overcome prostate cancer after undergoing early testing on the advice of his doctor.

The Zoolander star only went public with his 2014 cancer diagnosis last month (Oct16), when he told radio host Howard Stern he had been diagnosed at the age of 48, and promptly underwent surgery to remove his prostate.

Ben has been cancer-free ever since, and he realizes how lucky he was to have had such a straightforward treatment plan.

Opening up about the health battle on breakfast show Today, he said, "I'm doing great. I was really fortunate. My course of treatment was basically an operation and that was it."

The actor, now 50, still undergoes regular check-ups to ensure the cancer has not returned, but he currently has a clean bill of health.

"(I'm) cancer-free as of today," he continued. "Anyone who has had cancer, you know you have to keep on checking on it, but I'm really fortunate."

Ben previously praised his doctor for encouraging him to have regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests, and he admitted hearing the diagnosis for the first time was "surreal" because there had been no family history of this kind of cancer.

"It's surreal," the father-of-two recalled upon receiving his test results. "It's not something that I was really thinking about. It wasn't on my radar at all, and if it wasn't for this test... I don't know if I would have had as easy a course of treatment or the prognosis that I did have."

Ben is now using his own experience to urge other men to educate themselves about the benefits of early testing, symptoms of the disease, and treatment options, revealing the disease affects one in seven males in the U.S., according to officials at the American Cancer Society.

And he insists he was never concerned about the side effects of prostate surgery, which can include issues with urination and sexual function - something Ben suggests he never had to deal with.

"I'm doing good - all good," the comedy star laughed.

Getting serious, he added, "When you're confronted with the question of, 'Hey, do you want to live or do you want to make sure your sex life is the best it can be?', I opted for wanting to get rid of the cancer and then seeing what happens. And luckily, everything's cool."