TV legend Stephen Fry has posted a heartfelt video online revealing he has been battling prostate cancer in recent months.
The actor, author and director said he discovered he had the disease in the run-up to Christmas and recently underwent an operation to have his prostate removed.
He said: ‘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’.’
The 60-year-old is now awaiting test results but hopes he is clear of the disease.
He said: ‘Here’s hoping I get another few years left on this planet because I enjoy life at the moment and that’s marvelous thing to be able to say and I’d rather it didn’t go away.’
Stephen Fry uploaded a 12 minute video to his blog revealing: ‘For the last two months I’ve been in the throes of a rather unwelcome and unexpected adventure’
In the clip, the 60-year-old said: ‘My family and my darling husband were just marvelous.’ Pictured: The QI star with husband Elliot Spencer in February last year
He paid tribute to his husband, Elliot Spencer, for his support in the time since the operation, when he has been unwell.
He said: ‘You think you are going to recovery pretty well but it’s all pretty undignified and unfortunate, but my family and my darling husband were just marvelous.’
He added: ‘It doesn’t seem to have spread because what you don’t want is to spread from one area to another, but one of the lymph nodes had something that called for active surveillance.’
Fry, who pulled out of presenting the Bafta Film awards for the first time in years earlier this month, described the cancer as an ‘aggressive little bugger’.
He said: ‘It all seemed to go pretty well, they took the prostate out, they took out 11 lymph nodes.’
‘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.’
In one of his last public appearances, he was seen outside a Christmas party hosted by Evgeny Lebedev in December last year, around the time he discovered he had the disease
Fry (pictured at Wimbledon in 2017) said he was lucky to have a ‘marvellous team’ around him
Fry made the shock revelation in a 12 minute video uploaded to his blog, in which he said the issue emerged at a regular health check with his doctor late last year.
The day after the check-up, his doctor – a former schoolmate of his – had called him about his PSA levels.
He said: ‘I don’t know if you know what PSA levels are, if you are a man you certainly should, it stands for prostate specific antigens, these are the things that the prostate gives out if its under attack from a tumour.’
His levels led to him undergoing a number of tests and scans and eventually being given two options; radiotherapy or to get rid of his prostate.
He said he opted for the latter option and underwent an operation in January. He is now awaiting further test results.
Fry is pictured with his long-time colleague Hugh Laurie (left at a London after party in June 1990 and right on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in 2016) said he was lucky to have the support of his friends
Fry (left) presented the BAFTAs for a number of years before his final award ceremony last year. He was replaced by Joanna Lumley this year
He said: ‘I won’t know for sure until my PSA levels are checked, but if there is anything left maybe I’ll need radiotherapy and the whole thing will start again.’
He urged other men to get their prostate checked, saying one in eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their life.
‘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,’ he added.
Fry tweeted a link to the video under the heading: For the last 2 months I’ve been in the throes of a rather unwelcome and unexpected adventure.
‘I’m sorry I haven’t felt able to talk about it till now, but here I am explaining what has been going on.’
Within an hour of him posting the link, it had received nearly 5,000 ‘likes’.
WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER?
How many people does it kill?
Prostate cancer became a bigger killer than breast cancer for the first time, official statistics revealed earlier this year.
More than 11,800 men a year – or one every 45 minutes – are now killed by the disease in Britain, compared with about 11,400 women dying of breast cancer.
It means prostate cancer is behind only lung and bowel in terms of how many people it kills in Britain. In the US, the disease kills 26,000 each year.
Despite this, it receives less than half the research funding of breast cancer – while experts warn treatments for the disease are trailing at least a decade behind.
Daily Mail campaigns
The Daily Mail has been campaigning for nearly 20 years to raise the profile of prostate cancer.
But while care has leapt forward since the Mail’s ‘Dying of Embarrassment’ campaign began in 1999, it has been slow compared with the advances made on breast cancer.
Tests and treatment
Tests for prostate cancer are haphazard, with accurate tools only just beginning to emerge. There is no national prostate screening programme as for years the tests have been too inaccurate.
Doctors struggle to distinguish between aggressive and less serious tumours, making it hard to decide on treatment.
Men over 50 are eligible for a ‘PSA’ blood test which gives doctors a rough idea of whether a patient is at risk.
But it is unreliable. Patients who get a positive result are usually given a biopsy which is also not foolproof.
Scientists are unsure as to what causes prostate cancer, but age, obesity and a lack of exercise are known risks.