TODAY Show viewers are sending well wishes to Al Roker after he announced Friday he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Roker made the announcement Friday morning while also confirming that he will be taking some time away from the morning show and said that his diagnosis is "a good news-bad news kind of thing" as it was "caught early," though he noted that "it's a little aggressive, so I'm going to be taking some time off to take care of this."
During the morning segment, Roker, 66, revealed that his cancer was first detected following a routine physical, during which his doctor discovered he had an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in his bloodwork. He got an MRI, followed by a biopsy, to confirm his diagnosis. Roker was by himself when he learned of his diagnosis, the weatherman admitting that "in hindsight," he wishes he had told his wife, Deborah Roberts, to come.
Roker said that he will be undergoing surgery next week at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City to have his prostate removed. As a result, he is taking a break from the NBC morning show, though he said that "hopefully in about two weeks, I'll be back."
Friday's announcement left many viewers in shock and even more flocking to social media to shower Roker with love and support. Scroll down to see some of the well wishes Roker is receiving following his diagnosis and to see more of what the meteorologist said on Friday.
Heaven bless him. I wish all the best and big blessings to @alroker for a successful journey to improved health.— Bobby Rivers (@BobbyRiversTV) November 6, 2020
So sorry to hear this @alroker. In our thoughts and prayers.— Amy Caldwell (@amyccaldwell) November 6, 2020
After learning of his diagnosis, Roker went to work just the day after. He said that "this one was kind of just a weird feeling that nobody can outwardly see anything different about me. I looked in the mirror, there was nothing outwardly different. But I knew there was something intrinsically, inherently, internally different."prevnext
Al, you have literally an entire world of people wishing you well. Absorb all that positive energy and you will beat this! 🙏🏽— jake cathers (@dadstories) November 6, 2020
Wishing Al Roker all the best in his health journey and looking forward to seeing him soon— Sheilagh G. Lee~ She/Her (@SweetSheil) November 6, 2020
Roker's surgery will be performed by Dr. Vincent Laudone, who offered some words of hope. According to Laudone, Roker's "Cancer appears somewhat limited or confined to the prostate, but because it's more aggressive, we wanted to treat it, and after discussion regarding all of the different options — surgery, radiation, focal therapy — we settled on removing the prostate."prevnext
Sending healing thoughts and prayers to @alroker ❤️— Shannon Stern (@ShannonStern) November 6, 2020
I am so sorry to hear this and will be praying ❤️❤️❤️— Mrs C (@hailsomeoneelse) November 6, 2020
Laudone also expressed hope that Roker will be back to his old self following his recovery from surgery. Noting that "the goal is to get him back to normal activity," he said that "the fact that he walks a lot now, that he keeps himself in good shape, that he eats healthy, all of those things are really a plus when it comes to how he will recover after surgery."prevnext
This makes me so sad but I am so happy they caught it early! Sending you so much love to you and your family!! I will keep you in my prayers 🙏🏻— Ciara Davis (@XO_ciara) November 6, 2020
Prayers for you Al!! You are one tough cookie and I have no doubt you will beat this 💪🏼🙏🏻💙— ⚜Lesley Adams⚜ (@lesleybadams) November 6, 2020
As for Roker, he doesn't want fans to worry too much, telling viewers, "I don't want people thinking, 'Oh, poor Al,' you know, because I'm gonna be OK."prevnext
We love you @alroker sending all the positive vibes to you! ✨✨✨— Andy_the_Dog #BIDENHARRIS (@AndyChichuahua) November 6, 2020
We love you Al and will be pulling for you. ❤️— SingleMomsTales (@SingleMomsTales) November 6, 2020
During the Friday show, Roker said that he chose to go public with his diagnosis in the hopes of spreading more awareness. He said that he wanted to spotlight the fact that 1 in 7 African American men, and 1 in 9 men overall, will have a similar diagnosis in their lifetime.prevnext
All the best to you, Al, as you have surgery. Hope you make a full recovery. You're one of the best and have millions of people supporting you.— Katie Schubert (@thesalukihusker) November 6, 2020
Praying for a swift healing and recovery...— Susie Carmicheal (@catchVifyoucan) November 6, 2020
Roker said that by sharing his story, he hopes it will encourage other men to make their yearly visit to the doctor and get the proper checkups. He said that "the problem for African Americans 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."prevnext
Well wishes for a speedy recovery @alroker— Cheri (@Arecheri) November 6, 2020
Sending thoughts and prayers! You can beat this! ❤️🙏— Melany Batten (@melle_belle4) November 6, 2020
Dr. Carol Brown, a cancer surgeon at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, told Today that African American men are 50% more likely to get prostate cancer and twice as likely to die from it. Brown said that it is important to know that "there are no symptoms with early prostate cancer," so "screenings saves lives, and African American men need to get screened and should get screened usually starting at age 40."prev