Stephen Fry reveals he is battling prostate cancer

Mike P Williams

Stephen Fry has revealed he is battling prostate cancer.

In a video message, the 60-year-old actor said he had his prostate removed in January and that the cancer ‘doesn’t seem to have spread’.

He revealed he had been to see the doctor for a general check-up just before Christmas, who raised concerns about his PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) levels.

Read more: Prostate cancer and its symptoms to look out for

Fry explains in the video: ‘I went into one of those MRI imaging suits. I wasn’t being examined for anything as beastly as Satan, but something as beastly and it was in the prostate that they were looking at.

‘The next day Tony (the doctor) called me up again and said something rather mischievous has showed up.

‘He said maybe you should go and see a specialist now and they suggested a biopsy.

‘He took these two bits out of me just to be sure and yes indeed there is a cancer there. These things are graded – my score was 8 it seems. That’s high enough to warrant some sort of treatment.


‘We had a couple of options: radiotherapy – which is a long and difficult process – and the other thing is to get rid of the prostate… get it out, with this radical laparoscopic, robotic prostatectomy.

‘In other words, sending little robots in tiny holes that are pierced in your tummy.

‘And that’s what the operation we decided on should be.

‘This was in December, nearly Christmas, and in the first week of January I had the operation and it all seemed to go pretty well. They took out 11 lymph nodes, the various bits that were taken out were examined and it turned out I had a Gleason score of 9 not 8.’


‘Considering 10 is the maximum. This was clearly an aggressive little bugger.

‘So, what next? Well you have to recover and that’s what I’ve been doing in case you’ve been wondering why I’ve been out of the public eye – it’s rather traumatic.’

Fry announced the news on Twitter on Friday afternoon, writing: ‘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.’

‘You think you’re going to recover really well but it takes longer than it might, because cancer, in the end, that’s a word that just rings in your head,’ Fry said.

‘I know it’s an old cliche but you don’t think its going to happen to you, cancer is something that happens to other people. It’s one of our real taboo words isn’t it? And as far as we know it’s all been got. Apparently if you get prostate cancer you don’t necessarily find yourself more susceptible to other types of cancer. But I won’t know for sure until I get my PSA levels checked,’ he revealed of the care he’s having and how quickly they caught it.


The star revealed how he had his prostate removed, thus ridding himself of the cancer. He reassured people that ‘for the time being I am fit and well and I just wanted to let you know because rumours had started to swell.’

‘One in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some time in their life,’ the actor said. ‘It’s one in four if you’re of African descent. So there’s a strong possibility that you will get it. So it’s worth checking your PSAs and going from there. The answer is to discuss these things with your doctor. So yeah – get yourself checked and follow your doctor’s advice,’ was the advice he offered to all men out there.

People flocked to Twitter to wish the famous actor well.

Fry is something of an icon of British TV, having started his television career in 1982 with The Cellar Tapes.

He went on to star in Black Adder, Jeeves and Wooster, among a host of other shows and event. Fry also presented QI for 12 years until 2015, and has hosted the BAFTA Awards on numerous occasions.

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