The world is rallying behind Al Roker. This morning, the TV weatherman and host announced that he's been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Live on Today, the 66-year-old spoke optimistically about the diagnosis, and shared with viewers his journey and the importance of raising awareness about the cancer. This was his message.
Al Roker reveals prostate cancer diagnosis live on Today
On Friday, Roker chose to go public with the diagnosis, sharing the news with his compassionate Today hosts and viewers. "After a routine check-up in September — it turns out I have prostate cancer," Roker said.
"It's a good news/bad news kind of thing," he continued. "Good news is we caught it early. Not great news is that it's a little aggressive, so I'm going to be taking some time off to take care of this."
Roker wanted to go public with the diagnosis because it's a common disease but a deadly one if it goes undetected — and because it has a higher probability of affecting African American men. He explained, "One in nine men are going to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, but for African American men it's one in seven and is more deadly."
"If you detect it early, this is a really treatable disease. And it's why I wanted to take you along my journey, so we can all learn together — how to educate and protect the men in our lives."
Al Roker stepping away from Today ahead of treatment
The initial announcement on Today was followed by a prerecorded conversation with Roker, retracing his experience so far and his decision to lead an awareness-raising moment.
Roker said he will soon undergo surgery. He'll be away from Today in the meantime, but he hopes to be back within two weeks. After the show, he also tweeted a message of thanks for the well wishes he's already been receiving.
We wish Al all the best in his treatment and recovery.