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Ben Stiller celebrated his first erection after having cancer surgery

Ben Stiller celebrated his first erection after having cancer surgery

The Zoolander actor went public with his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2016

Ben Stiller's first erection after having prostate cancer surgery was a huge celebratory moment for everyone involved.

The Zoolander star, 57, publicly revealed his cancer diagnosis in October 2016, revealing he received his diagnosis two years prior.

Speaking on The Howard Stern Show, the Emmy Award-winning actor said he was diagnosed with 'immediately aggressive' prostate cancer aged 48 and he underwent surgery to treat it.

Stiller appeared on the show alongside his surgeon, Dr. Ted Schaeffer, and he discussed his hopes that by sharing his own experiences there would be a greater awareness of prostate cancer symptoms.

He had no issues with sexual function or urination following the surgery and had his first erection the day after the procedure.

“When the first erection happened post-surgery, we all celebrated,” he said during the podcast.

Ben Stiller and his surgeon Dr. Ted Schaeffer discussed his surgery and recovery.
The Howard Stern Show/YouTube

"It came out of the blue for me," Stiller told Howard. "I had no idea." Stiller was given a PSA - or prostate-specific antigen test - in his 40s even though general guidelines suggest prostate cancer screenings should not begin until the patient reaches their 50s.

Stiller said at the time: "It’s a very controversial subject, the PSA test. The PSA test is the only early screener for prostate cancer and, right now, the United States Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend to take the test. I think American Cancer Society says you should discuss it at 50. If I hadn’t taken the test – my doctor started giving it to me at 46 – I would not have known. Right now, I still wouldn’t have known.”

As of 2023, the American Cancer Society recommends people have discussions about prostate cancer screenings with their doctors at age 40 for men with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age, age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer including African-American men or a first-degree relative (father or brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer at at an age below 65 and at age 50 for men who are at average risk.

Ben Stiller opened up about his diagnosis to raise awareness.
The Howard Stern Show/YouTube

During the lengthy interview, the actor said he regularly urges young people to get checked for the illness.

Surgery for prostate cancer can damage the nerves needed to get an erection. If the cancer is growing close to the nerves, the surgeon may have to remove them.

According to Cancer Research UK, some men will get back their ability to have erections however this may take anywhere between three months to three years. Some patients may need help getting erections for the rest of their lives.

However, Stiller’s doctor joked that his famous patient was able to get his erections back the night after his surgery because he’s a movie star.

According to the NHS, symptoms for prostate cancer may include:

  • Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • Needing to rush to the toilet
  • Difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • Straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • Weak flow
  • Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
  • Blood in urine or blood in semen
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/The Howard Stern Show

Topics: Celebrity, Health