Al Roker has revealed he has prostate cancer.
The Today show weatherman, 66, made the announcement Friday on the morning show. He said he will be undergoing surgery next week to have his prostate removed.
“After a routine checkup in September, turns out I have prostate cancer,” Roker shared. “It’s a good news, bad news kind of thing. Good news is, we caught it early. Not great news is that it’s a little aggressive.”
He said he will be taking some time off to “take care of this,” having the surgery next week at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, but will be sharing his journey with viewers. He felt it especially important to share publicly because 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with the cancer in their lifetime while 1 in 7 African-American men will be, but it’s very treatable if detected early.
Roker has long shone a spotlight on early detection of prostate cancer, even getting a prostate exam on the show.
His physician Dr. Vincent Laudone said on the show, “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.”
And Roker is positive about what’s ahead, saying, “I don’t want people thinking, ‘Oh, poor Al,’ because I’m gonna be OK.”
After the segment, Roker took to social media to people for their well wishes.
I want to thank everyone sending all the good thoughts, wishes and prayers our way. Looking forward to seeing you all in a couple of weeks. https://t.co/Pzjkc9MqkG
— Al Roker (@alroker) November 6, 2020
That included a post from his wife, ABC News’s Deborah Roberts, saying they are “prayerful and hopeful he will be fine.”
As many of you now know my hubby is battling prostate cancer. We are prayerful and hopeful he will be fine. Thanks for all the kind words, prayers and positivity. pic.twitter.com/jHIMnKYynB
— Deborah Roberts (@DebRobertsABC) November 6, 2020
And he replied to her post specifically as well.
Roker’s colleagues also showed him love — both on screen and on social media. Today co-anchor Hoda Kotb wrote, “Love our Al.”
Savannah Guthrie also shared encouragement and “love and prayers.”
Roker has received a lot of support beyond that, including from former Today co-anchor Katie Couric and veteran newsman Dan Rather.