(NEXSTAR) — Al Roker revealed on the “Today” show Friday that he has prostate cancer.
The 66-year-old weatherman and co-host of the NBC show said he will undergo surgery to have his prostate removed next week in New York City.
“It’s a good news-bad news kind of thing,” Al said. “Good news is we caught it early. Not great news is that it’s a little aggressive, so I’m going to be taking some time off to take care of this.”
Roker said during the show that he publicly revealed his diagnosis to bring awareness to the number of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, saying, “It’s a little more common than I think people realize.”
Roker said 1 in 9 men overall — and 1 in 7 African American men — will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
“The problem for African Americans is that any number of reasons from genetics to access to health care, and so we want to make it available and let people know they got to get checked,” he said.
Roker said he was diagnosed during a routine checkup on Sept. 29.
“I don’t want people thinking, ‘Oh, poor Al,’ you know, because I’m gonna be OK,” he said.
Though Roker, a father of three, did say he feels “badly” about upsetting his wife, ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts, by not asking her to come with him to his checkup.
“In hindsight, boy I wish I’d told her to come,” he said.