Stephen Fry has revealed he’s been secretly battling prostate cancer in an emotional video to his fans, before thanking his “darling” husband and family for their support.
The 60-year-old comedian and actor revealed he was first diagnosed before Christmas, when he visited his doctor to get a flu jab, and he’s since undergone surgery to have his prostate removed.
“Cancer is just something that rings in your head. ‘I’ve got cancer’, I went around saying to myself; ‘Good heaven’s Stephen you’re not the sort of person who gets cancer’,” he admitted in the lengthy video, uploaded to his blog.
Opening up on his operation, Fry said he had his prostate and 11 lymph nodes removed, and told his fans: “It’s a bit of a business having an operation like that, there are five holes punctured into you, it’s like being stabbed five times… to the body it’s the same traumatic effect.”
Revealing the moment he found out, Fry said his doctor called him to say he was concerned about his prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, which it gives out if it’s “under attack from some sort of tumour”.
He was told to have an MRI, which he said felt like “taking a sledge hammer to a peanut”, as, while his PSA levels were higher than they should be at almost 5, they were still fairly low compared to others.
He shared intimate details of his later tests before being given his diagnosis, and managed to keep his humour throughout the moving video.
The star paid a loving tribute to his husband and family, saying: “You think you are going to recover pretty well but it’s all pretty undignified and unfortunate, but my family and my darling husband were just marvellous.”
Urging other men to have their PSA levels checked regularly, he said: “I’m bloody lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people and have such an incredible team to support me and an immune system because that’s the real hero of these things.”
Describing his cancer as “an aggressive little bugger”, he added: “It doesn’t seem to have spread, because what you don’t want is it to spread from one area to another, but one of the lymph nodes… had something which called for active surveillance.”
The star has been praised for the deeply honest footage, as he added: “Here’s hoping I get another few years left on this planet because I enjoy life at the moment and that’s marvellous thing to be able to say and I’d rather it didn’t go away.”
Sports star Gary Lineker tweeted his support shortly after, writing: “Stay well, you delightful man.”
Meanwhile fans flooded the social media site with messages of support, with one writing: “Hope you are well and many thanks for sharing information about the disease and treatment,” while another added: “Power to you. My Grandps died of prostrate cancer, thank you for going public on how you discovered it.”
One user wrote: “I actually got teary when I read that @stephenfry has been battling prostate cancer. He’s so much more than a national treasure, he’s like the nation’s favourite uncle. Wishing you all the best in your recovery Stephen.”