Stephen Fry has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The 60-year-old comedian has revealed he's had his prostate - a walnut sized gland at the base of the bladder in men - removed after doctors discovered he had the disease, which he's described as an "aggressive little bugger", had been attacking it and had started to spread to the nearby lymph nodes in his groin area.
Stephen announced the news in a video on his website, in which he said: "Here's my news I want to share with you: I went to see my doctor just before Christmas for a flu jab because I heard it was going to be a bit bad this year ... so I went to my doctor and he said; 'Well let's do a check up, a general MOT.' I have one of these every year so it's nothing to worry about.
So aside from my flu jab, I had my blood taken, urine, blood pressure and pulse and tapping here and tapping there. You know, the general procedure, I didn't think much more of it to be honest with you. Then the next day, he called me up and he said I'm a little worried about your PSA levels ... I think a normal level is anything under four nano grams per millilitre and mine was 4.97 nearly. So not very high to be honest with you ... I wasn't too worried to be honest, but Tony said: 'Maybe you should consider an MRI.'
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: https://t.co/uPorpiwstg
"So I had the MRI and, again, went home and didn't think much more of it. And then the next day Tony calls again and he says, 'Oh Stephen, something rather mischievous has showed up.'
"I was told to have a biopsy ... and the next day I get the results and, yes indeed, there is a cancer there. And these things are graded - and my score was eight. It doesn't seem to have spread, the cancer, because you don't want cancer to spread from one area to another. But one of the lymph nodes had something that called for active surveillance, according to the radiologist.
"We had a couple of options. One was radiotherapy, but that's a very long, difficult process. It's fine for some people but there are a number of issues. And the other was to get rid of the prostate - to get it out. So where are we now? We're in December and it's nearly Christmas and an operation is decided on and in the first week of January, I had the operation. And it all seemed to go pretty well, they took the prostate out, they took out 11 lymph nodes, and they were examined. And they were scored nine and considering 10 is the maximum, this was clearly an aggressive little bugger."
The television presenter has spent the past month recovering in private and is now awaiting a test on his PSA to check whether any of the cancer is still left in his body.
He explained: "So, what next? Well, you have to recover and that's what I've been doing. I have been keeping my head down as much as possible ... You think you're going to recover but it takes longer than you expected.
"Cancer is just a word that rings in your head ... but as far as we know, it's all been got. But I won't know for sure until my PSA levels are checked and they should be 0 now because I have no prostate. But maybe there will be something on the bed of the prostate and that will spread and I'll need radiotherapy and the whole damn thing will start again. But, for the moment, I'm fit and well and happy."