On Friday, Nov. 6, “Today” show co-host and meteorologist Al Roker, age 66, announced his prostate cancer diagnosis on-air. The television personality told his colleagues that the cancer was discovered after a routine check-up in September. On the pre-recorded segment that followed, he shared that during the check-up, his doctor discovered that he had an elevated Prostate-Specific Antigen, or PSA.
Roker described PSA as the “first line of defense when protecting possible prostate cancer.” He then added that after the initial discovery of his high PSA levels, he immediately received an MRI and biopsy that confirmed his diagnosis.
The Emmy award-winning journalist is optimistic. On-air he said, “It’s a good-news, bad-news kind of thing. The good news is we caught it early. The not-great news is that it’s a little aggressive. So I’m taking some time off to take care of this.”
Roker felt responsible to speak up about his diagnosis because of how “common” prostate cancer is. In his announcement, he reported that “1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime but for African American men that number’s 1 in 7 and is more deadly.”
Thankful for his wife and colleagues for their support, he concluded his announcement. Roker will be taking time off from the NBC morning show to undergo surgery that will remove his prostate. In high spirits, his final remarks were comedic saying, “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.”