How Robert De Niro Overcame Prostate Cancer

Robert De Niro


In 2003, at age 60, Robert De Niro was diagnosed with prostate cancer. As Survivor Net points out, the actor doesn’t often speak about his battle with cancer.

The outlet goes on to report that De Niro’s cancer was caught during a routine PSA screening test, and he immediately received treatment in New York at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He was declared cancer-free not long after his cancer was detected.

His Publicist Released a Statement at the Time of His Diagnosis

Shortly after his diagnosis, De Niro’s publicist released a statement saying, “The condition was detected at an early stage because of regular checkups, a result of his proactive personal healthcare program,” according to Express UK.

In 2016, journalist Howard Wolinsky penned a piece for the Med Page Today after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He referred to an article by Ben Stiller about his own prostate cancer diagnosis to help him get through the experience.

In the piece, Wolinsky comments on how Stiller sought advice from De Niro, as he had had the same experience. It was De Niro who referred Stiller to his personal urologist, Edward Schaeffer, MD, PhD, of Northwestern University’s Department of Urology, according to the outlet.

They go on to quote Stiller as saying about PSA testing, “The criticism of the test is that depending on how they interpret the data, doctors can send patients for further tests like the MRI and the more invasive biopsy, when not needed… But without this PSA test itself, or any screening procedure at all, how are doctors going to detect asymptomatic cases like mine, before the cancer has spread and metastasized throughout one’s body rendering it incurable?”

Other Famous Men Who Have Been Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

De Niro is one of many celebrities to have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. And as the second most common cancer among men in the United States, this isn’t surprising.

Ian McKellen was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005, but didn’t reveal the news to the public until 2012.

Speaking to The Mirror, he later stated, “Many, many men die from it, but it’s one of the cancers that is totally treatable, so I have ‘waitful watching.’ I am examined regularly, and it’s just contained, it’s not spreading. I’ve not had any treatment.”

Colin Powell was also was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and he underwent surgery to remove a prostate gland in 2003. He has since become vocal about prostate cancer awareness.

In 2011, at age 68, De Niro became a father to his sixth child. In a recent interview with US Weekly form the Tribeca Film Festival opening last year, the actor shared, “I love my children, just being with them… It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s fun and you love your kids, and sometimes you want to kill them!” He added, “Then, when you have the good moments, you forget about the ones that weren’t good.”

De Niro has been married twice: first to actress Diahnne Abbott in 1976, then to actress Grace Hightower in 1997.

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