Al Roker, one of the mainstays and familiar faces of NBC's The Today Show, has announced he has prostate cancer. Roker, who has been the show's meteorologist since 1996, disclosed his diagnosis on Friday's episode of the long-running morning show, where he stated,
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, so I’m going to be taking some time off to take care of this.
Roker, who is also the host of the third hour of Today, will undergo surgery next week at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Roker found out about this diagnosis in September after a routine check up.
Roker went public with his prognosis in order to educate the public and encourage them to get tested, as studies show one in seven African-American men and one in nine men overall will get diagnosed in their lifetime with prostate cancer. Roker stated,
The problem for African-American men is that any number of reasons from genetics to access to health care, and so we want to make it available and let people know they got to get checked.
Roker admits he should've told his wife, ABC News' Deborah Roberts, to come with him when he got tested. The anchor revealed Roberts was at first upset but she's been his biggest supporter since then. Roker stated,
I feel badly, because I didn't tell Deborah to come with me. In hindsight, boy, I wish I'd told her to come. She was upset. And once she got past that, the reporter in her kinda took over. And then she's been at everything ever since!
Watch Roker's announcement below.