Al Roker-Prostate Cancer

Al Roker-Prostate Cancer>> IT’S THE FEELING THAT NOBODY >>> IT’S THE FEELING THAT NOBODY CAN OUTWARDLY SEE ANYTHING DIFFERENT ABOUT ME. I LOOKED IN THE MIRROR AND THERE WAS NOTHING OUTWARDLY DIFFERENT BUT I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING INTRINSICALLY, INHERENTLY, INTERNALLY DIFFERENT.

YOU SEE, THE DAY PRIOR I HAD BEEN TOLD I HAD PROSTATE CANCER. IT WAS A DIAGNOSIS I WAS NOT EXPECTING. >> MY DOCTOR, UROLOGIST, ASKED ME TO COME IN FOR A FOLLOW-UP. WHEN HE STARTED CLOSING THE DOOR, SAID I ALWAYS LIKE TO HAVE THESE DISCUSSIONS FACE TO FACE, IT WAS LIKE UH-OH, THAT DOESN’T SOUND GOOD.

YOU HEAR THE WORD CANCER AND, YOU KNOW, YOUR MIND GOES — IT’S THE NEXT LEVEL. I FEEL BADLY BECAUSE I DIDN’T TELL DEBORAH TO COME WITH ME AND SHE WAS UPSET WITH ME THAT SHE WASN’T THERE. YEAH, IN HINDSIGHT, BOY, I WISH I HAD TOLD HER TO COME.

YOU KNOW, SHE WAS UPSET. ONCE WE GOT PAST THAT, THE REPORTER IN HER KIND OF TOOK OVER AND THEN SHE WAS AT EVERY — SHE’S BEEN AT EVERYTHING EVER SINCE. DEBORAH’S BEEN MY FIERCEST ADVOCATE, EVEN AS THIS BEGAN WITH JUST A ROUTINE PHYSICAL.

I’D BEEN FEELING GREAT, BUT MY DOCTOR DISCOVERED I HAD AN ELEVATED PSA LEVEL IN MY BLOODWORK, PSA STANDING FOR BLOODWORK, PSA STANDING FOR PROSTATE SPECIFIC ANTIGEN. IT’S THE FIRST LEVEL OF DEFENSE IN DETECTING PROSTATE CANCER. >> MOST GUYS ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE DIGITAL PROSTATE EXAM. >> WITH MOST GUYS, I’D PROBABLY FEEL LIKE — ♪ MOON RIVER ♪ >> OTHER THAN THAT, NOBODY PAYS ATTENTION. AND THEN SHOULD.

ESPECIALLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN AMERICAN. >> SO AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN ARE 50% MORE LIKELY TO GET PROSTATE CANCER AND UNFORTUNATELY THEY’RE TWICE AS LIKELY TO PASS AWAY FROM PROSTATE CANCER THAN WHITE MEN ARE IN THE UNITED STATES.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO KNOW IS THAT THERE ARE NO SYMPTOMS WITH EARLY PROSTATE CANCER SO SCREENING SAVES LIVES AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN NEED TO GET SCREENED AND SHOULD GET SCREENED, USUALLY STARTING AT AGE 40. >>

I KNOW I’M ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES, ESPECIALLY AFTER MY PSA LEVELS CAME BACK HIGH. I WAS ABLE TO GET AN MRI FOLLOWED UP BY A BIOPSY CONFIRMING MY DIAGNOSIS AND MAKING A TREATMENT PLAN EARLY IN MY DISEASE. >> FORTUNATELY HIS CANCER APPEARS SOMEWHAT LIMITED AND DEFINED TO THE PROSTATE. BUT IT’S MORE AGGRESSIVE, WE WANT ED TO TREAT IT AND SETTLED ON REMOVING THE PROSTATE.

THE GOAL IS GETTING BACK TO NORMAL ACTIVITY, THE FACT THAT HE WALKS AND KEEPS HIMSELF IN SHAPE AND EATS HEALTHY, ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE A PLUS WHEN IT COMES TO HOW HE WILL RECOVER AFTER SURGERY. >>

I DON’T WANT PEOPLE THINKING, OH, POOR AL, BECAUSE I’M GOING TO BE OKAY. SO, YOU KNOW, THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, YOU’VE GOT GREAT FAMILY AND FRIENDS, YOU WORK WITH AMAZING PEOPLE, YOU’RE SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE A JOB THAT ALLOWS TO YOU DO THINGS AND GO PLACES AND MEET PEOPLE THAT YOU NEVER, EVER THOUGHT YOU WOULD.

YOU KNOW WHAT, IF THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES TO GET 2020 OUT, THEN LET’S JUST GET IT OUT OF THE WAY, BOOM! LET’S JUST FINISH IT OFF. I’M READY. HOW ABOUT YOU! >> AL ROKER, ONLY YOU. ONLY YOU. WE LOVE YOU, HONEY. >> THANK YOU. I’M VERY FORTUNATE AGAIN. AFTER BREAST CANCER, IT’S THE SECOND MOST TREATABLE CANCER OUT THERE.

AGAIN, THE PROBLEM FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN IS THAT ANY NUMBER OF REASONS FROM GENETICS TO ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE. SO WE WANT TO MAKE IT AVAILABLE AND LET PEOPLE KNOW THEY GOT TO GET CHECKED. >> ANYBODY ON THIS STAFF WHO HAS EVER BEEN THROUGH ANYTHING, ONE OF YOUR FIRST CALLS IS FROM THIS GUY. SO WE’RE ALL HERE FROM YOU, TOO, HONEY. >>

SO YOU’LL HAVE A SURGERY AND YOU’LL SEE WHAT THE NEXT STEPS ARE AFTER THAT. >> WE’LL WAIT AND SEE AND HOPEFULLY IN ABOUT TWO WEEKS I’LL BE BACK. WE WANT TO SHARE A LOT OF HELPFUL INFORMATION ON OUR WEB SITE, TODAY.COM.

COMING UP ON THE THIRD HOUR OF TODAY, WE’LL BE TALKING WITH BOTH DOCTORS YOU SAW IN THE PIECE, MY SURGEON AND DR. CARROLL ABOUT — >> CAN I ASK A QUICK QUESTION? >> YES. >> JUST FOR MALE 40s, WAS THE FIRST RED FLAG THE HEIGHTENED PSA LEVEL? >> YEAH. >>

DID THAT COME FROM NORMAL BLOODWORK DID YOU? >> I HADN’T GOTTEN A CHECKUP IN A YEAR AND A HALF WITH COVID AND AL AND I SAID LET ME JUST DO THIS. HE SAID YOUR LEVELS ARE HIGH. DID IT AGAIN. STILL HIGH. SAID LET’S DO AN MRI. MRI DIDN’T SHOW ANYTHING. THEY SAID LET’S DO IT AGAIN AND DID THE BIOPSY. >> WOW. LOVE YOU, BUDDY. >> THANK YOU, DUDE.

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