LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Actor Ben Stiller revealed Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Stiller, 50, said the cancer was detected in June 2014, but was declared cancer-free the following December, in a Medium essay.
“As I learned more about my disease one of the key learnings is not to Google “people who died of prostate cancer” immediately after being diagnosed with prostate cancer), I was able to wrap my head around the fact that I was incredibly fortunate. Fortunate because my cancer was detected early enough to treat. And also because my internist gave me a test he didn’t have to,” Stiller wrote.
The test Stiller refers to is the Prostate-Specific Antigen, or PSA, test. According to the American Cancer Society, the test detects prostate-specific antigens in semen and blood. Most men without prostate cancer have PSA levels under 4 nanograms per milliliter, but the chance of having prostate cancer goes up as the levels reach 4 and up.
“The bottom line for me: I was lucky enough to have a doctor who gave me what they call a ‘baseline’ PSA test when I was about 46,” Stiller said in his essay. “ I have no history of prostate cancer in my family and I am not in the high-risk group, being neither — to the best of my knowledge — of African or Scandinavian ancestry. I had no symptoms.”
The American Cancer Society recommends prostate cancer screening tests at age 50 for men who are at average risk, and 45 for men at high risk, including African Americans and men with a father, brother or son diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age.