Leaving a Legacy: How Patients Launch Their Own Cancer Nonprofits
December 13, 2016 – Stacy Verner
Have a Cocktail: Using Multiple Drugs to Treat Myeloma
December 14, 2016 – Heather Millar
Size Matters: Examining Obesity's Role in Cancer Outcomes
December 14, 2016 – Don Vaughan
At a Loss for Words When Discussing a Loved One's Cancer
December 14, 2016 – Theresa Sullivan Barger
Obesity and Cancer: What Is the Connection, and What Is the Path Forward?
December 16, 2016 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Comments From Our Readers- Fall 2016
Mobile Site Offers Ready Access to Guided Meditation for Patients With Cancer
December 19, 2016 – Beth Fand Incollingo
Who are Cancer Clinical Trials For: Guinea Pigs, Test Pilots or Prize Poodles?
December 19, 2016 – D. Ross Camidge, M.D., Ph.D.
Author of "Llama" Books for Children Succumbs to Brain Cancer
December 20, 2016 – Beth Fand Incollingo
Currently Viewing
Ben Stiller Urges Men to Learn About PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer
December 20, 2016 – Beth Fand Incollingo
Blogging Your Way Through Cancer
January 03, 2017 – Jen Sotham
Inspirational Short Stories From Well-Known Cancer Survivors
January 05, 2017 – Beth Fand Incollingo
Cancer Discussion “Dos” and “Don’ts”
December 31, 2016

Ben Stiller Urges Men to Learn About PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer

Ben Stiller is taking a stance in the debate over PSA screening.
BY Beth Fand Incollingo
PUBLISHED December 20, 2016
Actor Ben Stiller is disease-free after treatment for prostate cancer, and he’s crediting a blood test with saving his life.

Stiller, 50, wrote in a blog post at medium.com that his doctor conducted a baseline blood test for levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) when he was 40, and then periodically thereafter. Rising PSA levels two years ago were a signal that Stiller needed to see a urologist, who conducted a rectal exam, followed by an MRI. Soon after that came a biopsy, which revealed “mid-range aggressive cancer.” A surgeon removed the cancer by performing a robotic-assisted, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, Stiller revealed in his essay.

The actor’s aim in publicly discussing his cancer experience is to weigh in on the side of routine PSA screening for men over 40.

It’s a controversial issue. In 2012, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended against any apparently healthy men getting the test, although it is reconsidering that guidance. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends PSA screening starting at age 50. Those against the screening point out that increased PSA levels don’t always signal cancer, or may be associated with a cancer that would never become life-threatening. As a result, discovering a raised PSA level may lead to invasive tests or cancer therapies that turn out to be unnecessary yet create lifelong side effects, such as impotence or incontinence. Those for the screening argue that, without it, asymptomatic cancers, like Stiller’s, can be overlooked until they become aggressive and incurable.

Stiller says he might have developed metastatic prostate cancer if he hadn’t been screened before he became age-eligible under the ACS’s guidelines.

“I think men over the age of 40 should have the opportunity to discuss the test with their doctor and learn about it, so they can have the chance to be screened. After that, an informed patient can make responsible choices as to how to proceed,” he wrote. “I count my blessings that I had a doctor who presented me with these options. After I chose to take the test, he directed me to doctors who worked at centers of excellence in this field to determine the next steps. This is a complicated issue, and an evolving one. But in this imperfect world, I believe the best way to determine a course of action for the most treatable, yet deadly cancer, is to detect it early.”
Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Prostate Cancer CURE discussion group.

Related Articles


Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In