Stephen Fry Reveals Private Battle With Prostate Cancer

In a video posted to his website, the 60-year-old actor spoke about his private fight against cancer

By Elyse Dupre Feb 23, 2018 2:27 PMTags

Stephen Fry opened up about his private battle with prostate cancer in a video message on Friday.

In a clip posted to his website, the 60-year-old actor revealed he went in for a flu shot just before Christmas and ended up having a general checkup. After his doctor expressed concern over his prostate specific antigen levels, the comedy star had an MRI. However, he was told something "mischievous" showed up on his results. So, he went in for a transrectal biopsy and learned the results the next day.

"Yes, indeed, there is a cancer there," he said in the video.

In fact, Fry discovered he had a Gleason score, a measurement for determining the aggressiveness of the cancer, of eight. According to the American Cancer Society, the highest score is a 10. 

"That's high enough to warrant some sort of treatment," Fry told viewers.

So, Fry underwent a PET scan. While the results showed the cancer didn't spread, they did indicate that his lymph nodes required "active surveillance." So, he had his prostate and 11 lymph nodes removed in early January. The operation revealed he actually had a Gleason score of nine. 

"Considering 10 is the maximum, this was clearly rather an aggressive bugger," he said.

Fry said the surgery went "pretty well" and announced he's been recovering. He also said he's "fit and well and happy" at the moment but that he'll need to have his PSA levels checked to ensure there wasn't anything left on the prostate bed.

In the video, Fry said his husband Elliott Spencer and his family had been "just marvelous" throughout the experience. He also opened up about the emotional toll of cancer.

"Because cancer, you know, in the end that's a word that just rings in your head. ‘Cancer! I've got cancer.' I went around saying, ‘I've got cancer. Good heavens, Stephen. You're not supposed to get cancer,'" he said. "I know it's an old cliché but you don't think it's going to happen to you. Cancer is something that happens to other people." 

He also said his "life was saved" by early intervention and encouraged other men to get their PSA levels checked. Finally, he said he hopes he continues to stay healthy. 

"Here's hoping I get another few years left on this planet," he said, "because I enjoy life at the moment. That's a marvelous thing to be able to say, and I'd rather it didn't go away."