Ben Stiller is known for making very funny movies.
But there's nothing funny about what Stiller revealed in an interview with Howard Stern on Tuesday morning:
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago.
“It came out of the blue for me,” Stiller told Stern on the latter's radio show. “I had no idea.”
Although the actor explained that he had no history of prostate cancer in his family, his physician suspected the cancer due to a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test - which is a basic blood test - at a yearly physical in 2014.
“If I hadn’t gotten the test, my doctor started giving it to me at 46, I still wouldn’t know,” he said.
Stiller went on to say he now wants to spread the word about this exam and prostate cancer in general, most importantly how vital it is to get tested as often as possible.
"I wanted to talk about it because of the test, because I feel like the test saved my life," Stiller told Stern.
Stiller’s doctor found that his patient's PSA levels were high and, although he wasn’t immediately concerned, the doctor re-administered the test six months later, discovering at the time that the PSA had gone up even more.
“After the second time, I started to get a little worried,” Stiller said.
The beloved Zoolander star went through a number of tests, including an MRI and biopsy, to determine whether or not he definitely had prostate cancer.
In the end, Stiller ended up having surgery to remove his prostate for this intermediately-aggressive cancer six weeks later.
“I was diagnosed on Friday the 13th, then I had until August 23rd to get ready for the surgery. So I just had the summer to hang out and think about it,” he told the radio host.
Stiller also said reached out to some of his A-list friends, including Robert De Niro, who previously battled prostate cancer and came out on the other side.
“At first, I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Stiller says of why he remained quiet back when he was diagnosed, adding:
“I was scared. The one thing that it does is it just stops everything in your life when you get diagnosed with cancer because you can’t plan for a movie – you don’t know what’s going to happen."
So, why is the actor speaking up now?
No one could blame him for keeping quiet. It's really his business and no one else's business.
Simply put, he wants to help others out there.
"The controversy about the test is that once you get treatment for prostate cancer, things can happen: incontinence, impotence,” he said.
HOWEVER: "It’s the second most deadly cancer, but it’s also one of the most survived cancers, if it’s detected early."
Take his advice, men around the world. Go get tested.