NBC’s “Today” anchor, Al Roker revealed to viewers on Friday November 6, that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and would be taking time off for surgery and recovery.
The 66-year-old weatherman said it was discovered after a routine medical checkup in September.
Roker explained that he wanted to go public with his diagnosis because 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime “but for African American men that number’s 1 in 7 and is more deadly.”
“It’s a good news-bad news kind of thing,” Al 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 TODAY),” Al said.
“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 on TODAY.
“The problem for African American men 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,” Al said.
Al will be undergoing surgery next week at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where Dr. Vincent Laudone will perform the procedure.