Roker will undergo surgery next week at New York City's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and hopes to recover in as little as two weeks. "Not great news is that it's a little aggressive".
Roker also expressed his gratitude for Today fans' support on Twitter. His 24-year run is the longest of any personality in the history of the program, which began in 1952.
Roker said he chose to publicly share his news to highlight the fact that one in seven African-American men, and one in nine men in general, will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. During the broadcast, the 66-year-old said that he's set to undergo surgery next week to have his prostate removed, and his recovery will necessitate some time off from television.
Al previously underwent a live prostate exam on TODAY in 2013 and in 2019 he worked alongside TODAY's Craig Melvin and the New Jersey Devils for a public service announcement.
"After a routine checkup in September, turns out I have prostate cancer", Roker said on Today. "But for African-American men, that number is one in seven and is more deadly, so if you detect it early, this is a really treatable disease and it's why I wanted to take you along my journey so we can all learn together".
'I feel badly, because I didn't tell Deborah to come with me, ' he said. "I looked in the mirror, there was nothing outwardly different".
"This one was kind of just a weird feeling that nobody can outwardly see anything different about me", he said.
"When he started, he closed his door and said, "I always like to have these discussions face to face, '" Roker explained".
The Prostate Cancer Foundation recommends African American men talk to their doctor about being screened for prostate cancer at age 40.