Al Roker, the legendary longtime weatherman on the “Today” show, has revealed that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Entertainment Tonight reported that Roker revealed that doctors found the cancer after “a routine check-up in September.” The 66 year-old went on to say that he was “not expecting” the diagnosis.
“It’s a good news-bad news kind of thing,” Roker 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 then talked about why he decided to be open with his diagnosis to his millions of fans.
“I decided I wanted to go public with this because one in nine men are going to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, but for African American men it’s one in seven and it’s more deadly,” Roker explained. “If detected early, this is a really treatable disease.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 6, 2020
Roker also talked about why he decided to go to work the day after he was diagnosed.
“I didn’t physically feel any different, but I was different because I knew that I’ve got cancer,” he said.
Roker will be taking some time off from the “Today” show to get ready for surgery at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He told viewers that he hopes to be back in two weeks.
“I don’t want people thinking ‘Oh, poor Al,’ because I’m gonna be OK,” Roker continued.
Yahoo News reported that Roker’s doctor, Dr. Vincent Laudone, appeared on “Today” as well to talk about his diagnosis.
“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,” he said.
Tributes have been pouring in for Roker on social media.
“As many of you now know my hubby is battling prostate cancer,” tweeted his wife, Deborah Roberts. “We are prayerful and hopeful he will be fine. Thanks for all the kind words, prayers and positivity.”
“Thinking about my dear friend Al Roker and wishing him the best as he faces prostate cancer,” added former “Today” host Katie Couric. “Sending so much love to you, Al!