Ben Stiller on fears over side effects of prostate cancer treatment: 'I opted for wanting to get rid of the cancer'

'Do you want to live or do you want to make sure your sex life is the best it can be?'

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The Independent Online

Ben Stiller has described how he dismissed fears over whether surgery to remove prostate cancer could leave him impotent. 

The Zoolander actor, 50, spoke about his diagnosis of prostate cancer for the first time in October, two years after undergoing a routine prostate-specific antigen test, known as a PSA test, and life-saving treatment. 

Appearing on the Today show, Stiller said every man should get their PSA levels tested. His surgeon Dr. Edward Schaeffer also joined Stiller on the show and discussed some of the side effects from treatment for prostate cancer, which can include difficulty with urination and sexual function. 

Stiller said the risk of these side effects did not dissuade him from choosing to have his prostate removed. ”It’s a real thing, but when you’re confronted with the question of, 'Hey, do you want to live or do you want to make sure your sex life is the best it can be?' I opted for wanting to get rid of the cancer and see what happens, and luckily everything is cool.”

Stiller was declared cancer-free in September 2014, three months after undergoing a prostatectomy.

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