Weatherman and co-host of Today Al Roker announced on-air that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. “After a routine check-up in September, turns out I have prostate cancer,” Roker announced alongside his co-hosts. “The good news is, we caught it early. The bad new is, it’s a little aggressive, so I’m going to be taking some time off to take care of this.” Roker went on to explain that he decided to share his diagnosis publicly because he wanted to shed light on how common the disease is among men: 1 out of 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Black men experience an increased risk with 1 out of 7 poised to be diagnosed while also battling a poorer survivor rate.
Roker will undergo surgery next week to remove his prostate and is remaining as optimistic as you’d assume the popular news personality would be. “We’ll just wait and see, and hopefully in about two weeks, I’ll be back,” Roker told his colleagues. He also used the time to encourage Black men to get checked while also noting some of the obstacles that prevent the community from getting the care it needs, acknowledging that his doctors were able to check him aggressively thanks to his access to decent health care. “A lot of people don’t have access to that,” he said.
Roker has always openly shared past health roadblocks, including the need for hip replacement surgery just last year. You can check out the full announcement and the follow-up discussion below. We wish Roker a speedy recovery.