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.”