When beloved TV anchor Al Roker of NBC News’ TODAY publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it didn’t just raise awareness of the disease—it also cast a spotlight on the harsh disparities in care and outcomes that many people of color suffer with cancer.
Making health care more accessible for Black people and others who suffer from disparities has been the life’s work of Dr. Carol Brown, a gynecological cancer surgeon and Chief Health Equity Officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering where she holds the Nicholls-Biondi Chair for Health Equity. Dr. Brown and Mr. Roker met on video to discuss health care disparities, the higher risk that Black people face for some cancers, the importance of men—especially Black men—getting cancer screenings, and much more.
Al Roker urges Black men to take charge of their health, including prostate health, since they are 50% more likely to develop prostate cancer and twice as likely to die from it.
Al Roker reflects on his own experience with doctors, and discusses the mistrust that some people feel towards the health care system.
Al Roker and Carol Brown discuss the importance of the PSA test (Prostate Specific Antigen) and other methods to screen for prostate cancer.
Al Roker describes his reaction when his doctor told him he had prostate cancer, and the importance of having an advocate, if possible.
Al Roker updates everyone on his recovery after prostate cancer surgery, performed by Vincent Laudone, the Chief of Surgery at MSK’s Josie Robertson Surgery Center.