Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ian McKellen Has Prostate Cancer

In an interview with The Daily Mirror, Ian McKellen announced he has prostate cancer and has had it for six or seven years and that so far it has been contained within his prostate and is monitored on a regular basis. He also says that in the seven years since he was diagnosed with the cancer that he has not had any treatment at all. He says, "I have heard of people dying from prostate cancer, and they are the unlucky ones, the people who didn't know they had got it and it went on the rampage. But at my age if it is diagnosed, its not life threatening." I didn't know age had something to do with whether you lived or died from it. That seems odd. Ian is 73.

46 comments:

Cathy said...

I think he's saying that because it progresses more slowly than other types of cancer, at his age, he's more likely to die of something else first.

Amber said...

Oh no! Sad. :( BTW, I'm guessing what he means by "at [his] age", is that even though he is older, the cancer is not a death sentence if caught early enough.

dia papaya said...

NOOOOOO! Not my Gandalf!

Colbert - Who would win the battle - Gandalf or Magneto?

McKellen - Gandalf, of course! He's 7000 years old!

nancer said...

he's right. the watchful waiting approach works fine with many, many prostate cancers because they progress so slowly. obviously, it's no invasive and he's done fine for 7 years. something else will likely get him before prostate cancer does.

MISCH said...

Oh Sir Ian, get well soon

Megan said...

Exactly what Cathy said. Prostate cancer has an average of 17 years from diagnosis to death, if I recall. He's much more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, statistically, than of his prostate cancer.

Putting my degree in cancer research to good use, right there.

Harvey Manfrenjensen said...

I recall a recent newspaper article that said that many times breast cancer and prostate cancer are overdiagnosed. Here's the link:
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/news/overdiagnosis-of-prostate-cancer-widespread-study-finds

FS said...

Dr Dean Edell once said that many men have prostate cancer and never know it. They die of something else first and the prostate cancer is found during an autopsy. My father has it, he was getting the shot every few months, but now his levels are so low they've changed him to twice a year. He's 82, he'll probably die of natural causes before the cancer spreads.

kpist said...

My father had prostate cancer for years, however, when it did spread, he died within a week.

kpist said...

Well, let me correct the post above. By the time the doctors realized it had spread, he died within a week.

Caitlin Costanzo said...

Just want to say.. Most cancer patients who do die do not die from the cancer but from the chemo and radiation.

katsm0711 said...

Yes @caitlin! I was on chemo and literally felt that it was killing me. I swore I'd do everything I can to prevent getting cancer. And if I do I will never ever touch those poisons. Western medicine is only good for short term emergencies. Chemo and radiation weaken your immune system so that after you are more succeptible to more cancer and other diseases.

Leah said...

When we saw him on Colbert, hubby and I said to each other - "He looks bad - like he's got cancer or something." Could this be why he didn't attend some of the movie-opening related events?

SusanB said...

@katsmo - Mr. B under went 2 rounds of chemo 20 years ago for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. 20 YEARS ago! His immune system is great - he hasn't even had a cold in the 10 years I've known him. It's different for everyone. And I'd rather have a (possibly) weakened immune system than be dead. If Mr. B hadn't had chemo, he would have been dead for at least 18 years now.

rejectedcarebear said...

Dia- Best week ever of Colbert IMO! "YOU SHALL...Pass!"

I also loved that Colbert schooled Peter Jackson in LOTR.

Chilie said...

My Dad's prostrate cancer has returned. He has an aggressive type. Not all of them grow slowly. However, Ian will need to be vigilant about its progress if he wants a great quality of life when he is older.

My Dad was originally misdiagnosed in that they thought he had only a little bit of cancer. However, he is extremely active & healthy (he was 77 with first surgery, is 80 now) and insisted on prostrate surgery because his was enlarged and the constant need to urinate was affecting his life.

Turns out the biopsy must have gotten the only areas that were not affected by cancer, because the doctors were shocked that the entire prostrate was riddled with cancer when they removed it.

Now his PSA levels have tripled, twice, and there is a small lump where his prostrate used to be. The way the PSA levels have risen indicates metastization. I really hope it has not gotten into his bones.

He gets to undergo seven weeks of radiation, five days a week, and on Thursday, he will learn the results of his CAT scan, MRI, bone scan and a few other tests to determine if the cancer has spread elsewhere which would necessitate chemo. The bitch is he lives in the country and it is a two hour trip to the hospital, and two hours to get home again

If my Dad was a typical 80 year old, chances are the doctors would let it play out. This is what the oncologist said. However, he has the body of a healthy 65 year old, so they are going to fight this and hopefully give my Dad another 10 years.

Momster said...

My father (he's 76) has had two rounds of radiation for stomach cancer and prostate cancer. My FIL also had his spread and had to have his prostate removed. Everyone is different, like SusanB said. Radiation and chemo was rough, but I am grateful he's still around!

SusanB said...

@ Chilie - best wishes to your dad.

L said...

@Chilie - good luck to you and your dad! big hugs xx

Chilie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chilie said...

Thanks, SusanB & L

auntliddy said...

My very best to your dad

auntliddy said...

My nana was diagnosed with a form of cancer when she was in her 80's. the drs said dont do anything, because as u age, your whole system slows down so by the time her cancer grew enough to really impact her life or kill her, she wld already be dead. She died in her her sleep a few years later, the cancer never having been an issue.

dia papaya said...

Yes it was the best!!! I love that Colbert is LOTR nerd! He's even cooler now :)

1 week wasn't enough. I need more LOTR. I'm one of those weird people that want to move to middle earth and stay forever. I would be a fairy or elf. And I would marry Legolas and have adorable elf babies!

dia papaya said...

Yes Chilie! Best wishes to you and your dad :)

kgirl said...

Sending prayers to you and your family. My aunt currently has cancer that has only been seen in one other person. Needless to say, it's hard watching a family member hurt.

surfer said...

All the best Chilie, for your father. (I lost my father to cancer; he was never offered chemo or radiation, just surgery.)

it took forever said...

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Chilie said...

Everyone, thank you for your kind words and support.

rejectedcarebear said...

Same here Dia! I love Middle Earth and I wish I lived in a hobbit hole! I'm re-reading The Hobbit before going to see the movie. Its gonna be awesome!

Zeeky_Boogy_Doog said...

I kinda wonder if my sister's husband was overdiagnosed with prostate cancer. It's been maybe 8 or 10 years, and he had to get a new bladder, one from a pig. The problem now is he constantly gets E.coli -- literally a good 2 weeks of the month he's in hospital for it. Since then, he had a severe stroke so it makes things worse.

Granted, I don't know that much about it, and I suppose if he needed a new bladder, the prostate cancer must've been bad. It's just I've never heard of a person getting E.coli all the time.

misspeg86 said...

@Chilie - I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Sounds like he is one strong fella though! Sending best wishes and prayers to your dad and your family.

misspeg86 said...

I don't understand how he says he hasn't had any treatment since he's had cancer. Wouldn't his condition worsen? Does that mean ANY kind of treatment or that he's taking pills but no chemo? Sorry, I don't know anything about cancer...luckily I haven't been affected by it *knock on wood*.

dia papaya said...

HOBBIT!!!!

We need to have a CDaN LOTR party this weekend!

Jaiden_S said...

Actually, with prostate cancer in older men, it's better not to treat it. In most cases, it doesn't spread and something else will kill them long before the cancer does.

feraltart said...

A general rule of thumb is that the younger you are when you get cancer the worse it is. My dad had prostate cancer in his 50's, picked up by a random PSA test. He had a slightly elevated level, was on holidays in a different state & decided to get his knee operated on before dealing with his prostate. By the time his prostate was removed, his PSA had doubled or tripled and the cancer was just breaking through the prostate wall. He was part of a trial where they did hormone treatment. They sent results away to see if further treatment was needed & my dad had to have radiation treatment. He hated the radiation & has sworn he will never go through it again. I am of the firm belief that he has stayed cancer free for the last 15 years because he had the hormone treatment before the radiation.

Chilie said...

@ Surfer. Sorry about your Dad and that he wasn't given more options.

@ misspeg86. Correct. They know Ian has a bit of cancer in one area, and have not done any treatment. They are monitoring it ensure it is the same size and has not spread. Any change and it would spark a treatment plan.

@ Feraltart. My Dad had the hormone treatment first and it worked for about one year after his psa started to increase. But then it suddenly tripled and did it again three months later. So now it is radiation and perhaps more. They do the hormone treatment only once (one round) because a second course simply is not very effective.

Just got some good-ish news. He was at his doctor's office today for his regular 3 month check up for asthma, blood work etc. Most of the tests were also sent to the GP too, so my Dad got some of the results this afternoon. The bone scan is clear. CT scan results aren't back yet. The MRI shows a suspicious area between his bladder and colon. My dad thinks this is the same thing (tumour/growth) that the oncologist found during the physical exam. He'll get the rest of the results on Thursday, but I felt such a wave of relief when I learned the bone scan is clear.

The CT scan might pick up something else, so I need to keep myself in check until all the info is in.

Its just U said...

My dad has prostate cancer. He was originally diagnosed with leukemia and they discovered the prostate cancer while treating it. He is 60.
He was on the shots for a while but we found out it has spread to his spine. He had radiation and currently having chemotherapy every 2 weeks.
He is suffering terribly with side effects ( his finger nails have turned black and he is very yellow) but the docs have said they are very pleased with his progress and that when his current round is over he won't need any more, fingers crossed!!!
I hope Sir Ian is ok. Its hard going if it gets bad.

Its just U said...

I hope you are ok. Its hard going through that. My dad is going through the same so I understand.x

surfer said...

Thanks Chilie. Great news about the bone scan; hopefully the other test results will be good as well.

@ ItsJustU - sorry about your dad too.

Damn. Cancer is such a buzzkill.

Its just U said...

I will keep my fingers crossed for him, and you. My dad is waiting for the results of his scan too. Hopefully we will both get good news from our dads for Christmas.

Tug said...

PSA only says so much - it's a "marker", but not do all, end all. My dad's has gone from good to bad to REALLY bad to good again. They become immune to hormones (which keep it down), but that doesn't the prostate cancer is doing anything worse. Dad was diagnosed in 2002, & by the time they found it & did radiation, it had metastized. It's now in his pelvis & a disc in his back, but this is 10 years later. He's just NOW starting radiation. Because of pain & in the disc. They don't like to do radiation or chemo because of what it does to your body until you're in pain, because yes - it's very slow spreading. Even where all dad's is now, the doc is still saying he'll die WITH it, as opposed to FROM it.

Amy in MI said...

Omg they were on Colbert? Damn not having cable and Hulu being dumb! I am a huge LOTR fan- got my extende editions on blu ray and DVD!

Amy in MI said...

My best to your dad. My dad is my world and he lives 450 miles away. I'm always on him to be mindful

rejectedcarebear said...

Amy-Ian, Peter Jackson, andy serkis and Martin Freeman were on..Colbert had hobbit feet on. It was the best. I love the extended versions too!

Dia - lets do this!!

NaNa LaLa said...

My dad had prostate cancer. He is 60 and did all the treatment as the kind he had was very aggressive. But, if it had been the slow kind, he would have done nothing as they said he would have been more likely to die of something else before the cancer. And the possible side effects of treatment are really really not fun to deal with! (luckily, my dad had smooth sailing and is considered cancer free!)