Al Roker Shares An Update On His Recent Prostate Cancer Surgery
Al Roker underwent prostate cancer surgery last week, and has since received positive news regarding the procedure. According to the pathology report, there is no evidence of cancer beyond the prostate, which Roker had removed.
“It was this great relief,” Roker said on TODAY. “For a first start, this is terrific news.”
Roker underwent a five-hour surgery on Nov. 9 to remove his prostate, as well as some surrounding tissue and lymph nodes. The 66-year-old weatherman and TODAY co-host said he was walking laps through the hospital’s hallways in the afternoon following his surgery. He was well enough to be released the following day, and just three days after the procedure, he had resumed his usual five-mile walks through the park.
“I feel good,” Roker said. “The technology has gotten so good that I felt much better after the surgery than I did with any of my joint replacements.”
While he received the best possible news regarding his prognosis, Roker and his doctor both emphasized the need for continued monitoring in the years to come.
“The prognosis at this point in time based on how the surgery went and based on his pathology report, everything looks very favorable,” said Dr. Vincent Laudone, an oncologist at New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “We would say that Al has no evidence of any cancer, but we’ll continue to monitor him for several years.”
Since revealing his diagnosis in September, Roker has been highly vocal about his journey to help raise awareness about prostate cancer. This aligns with his previous on-air activities, such as undergoing a prostate exam on the show in 2013, and creating a public service announcement about getting checked just last year.
Roker has publicly shared his journey in order to emphasize the fact that 1 in 9 American men eventually develop prostate cancer, and that African American men are 50% more likely to develop the disease. They are also twice as likely to die from it.
“You don’t hear about this until you’re dead,” Roker said in jest.
To stay on top of his wellness, Roker will return for a blood test in January to determined his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, which measures protein produced by the prostate gland. Should all go well, he will go six months between tests for the next five years to ensure he remains cancer free.
Roker will be back on TODAY in time to fulfill his annual role as a host of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, will air from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Nov. 26, on NBC.