Weatherman Al Roker revealed that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery to have his prostate removed.
Roker shared his diagnosis during a taping of the “TODAY Show” on Friday (Nov. 6). He wanted to publicly share the news so that he could help other Black men prevent this from happening to them. “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.”
He recalled the moment the doctor told him about the diagnosis. “When he started, he closed his door and said, ‘I always like to have these discussions face to face.’ And I was like, ‘Uh-oh. Well, that doesn’t sound good,’” Roker said. “You hear the word ‘cancer’ and your mind goes. It’s the next level, you know?”
Next week, Roker will undergo surgery at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. Vincent Laudone will perform the procedure.
“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,” Dr. Laudone said.
Roker is hopeful that he will be back to work in a few weeks. “We’ll just wait and see, and hopefully in about two weeks, I’ll be back,” he said.
“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,” Roker added.
The American Cancer Society recommends African American men should talk to their doctors about prostate screenings at age 45. The Prostate Cancer Foundation advises African American men to get a prostate screening by the age of 40.
The REVOLT team would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Roker at this time. Check out his video announcement below.