By: Jon Corrigan
Ben Stiller revealed on The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday that he was diagnosed with “immediately aggressive” prostate cancer in 2014 at age 48.
The actor, now 50, appeared on Stern’s program with his surgeon, Edward Schaeffer, and discussed his battle for the first time publicly.
“It came out of the blue for me,” Stiller said. “I had no idea.”
“At first, I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I was scared,” he said. “It just stopped everything in your life because you can’t plan for a movie because you don’t know what’s gonna happen.”
Stiller, who has no family history of prostate cancer, credits a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test he received during a yearly physical.
“If I hadn’t gotten the test—my doctor started giving it to me at 46—I still wouldn’t know.”
After an initial PSA test revealed his levels were high but not alarming, Stiller’s doctor re-administered the test again six months later and found his PSA levels had grown significantly. Further testing, including an MRI and a biopsy, would confirm his prostate cancer.
Stiller, a father of two and married to actress Christine Taylor, later had surgery to remove his prostate.
“Afterwards, it just gives you an appreciation for life,” he said. “Every six months I’m taking my PSA test to make sure I’m clear.”
So, why share this story now?
“I wanted to talk about it because of the test,” Ben said. “I feel like the test saved my life.”
After his interview with Stern aired, Stiller published a detailed essay, which you can read here.