Al Roker reveals prostate cancer diagnosis

By Heather Cichowski

Al Roker revealed he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and he will undergo surgery to treat it.

The Today co-host opened up about his cancer diagnosis during the show on Nov. 6.

"It's a good news/bad news kind of thing," the 66-year-old 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."

Al continued that he was "being aggressive against it" and he would undergo surgery next week to remove his prostate. Then they will see what the next steps are. The weather anchor is hopeful he will be back at work in a few weeks.

Al continued, "We'll just wait and see, and hopefully in about two weeks I'll be back."

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The television personality explained on Today his reasons for going public with his diagnosis, including how prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers. He also wanted to draw attention to its impact on Black men. One in 9 men overall will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 7 Black men, according to the stats Today gave. Additionally, Al said Black men are "twice as likely to die from this disease."

"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 explained.

The host's surgeon, Dr. Vincent Laudone, and his colleague at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center cancer surgeon Dr. Carol Brown, spoke on the program about prostate cancer and Al's diagnosis.

“Fortunately his cancer appears somewhat limited or confined to the prostate," shared Vincent. "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."

The longtime host received an outpouring of support from his co-workers and his wife, ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts, and later viewers and social media users.

"It's important to keep a positive attitude in any disease, really," Al stated. "And because I've got a great support system, I'm a little ahead of the game that way."

He wrote on Twitter, "I want to thank everyone sending all the good thoughts, wishes and prayers our way. Looking forward to seeing you all in a couple of weeks."

We wish Al well in his surgery and recovery.

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