Ben Stiller, 50, has spoken out about his battle with prostate cancer.
The Zoolander actor revealed in a radio interview that he detected the life-threatening disease early and is now cancer-free.
He says: “At first, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was scared. It just stops everything in your life because you can’t plan for a movie because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Now he’s on a mission to educate men about detecting prostate cancer early.
He says a prostate-specificen antigen test “saved his life”.
Stiller’s celebrity status caused his story to be quickly disseminated into mainstream media, stirring varying commentary about PSA testing.
In the debate, some prominent urologists are calling for a return of PSA testing and are advocating for the strategy of a midlife baseline test (such as Stiller’s), whereas other physicians are reminding the public of the test’s shortcomings and harms.
However, the expert commentators all seem to agree that it is extremely difficult to say whether or not PSA testing has saved an individual’s life.
“It is nearly always impossible in the individual patient to say whether early diagnosis and treatment…was lifesaving or overtreatment,” said Stephen Freedland, MD, a urologist at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles, California.