Ian McKellen opens up about his years-long battle with prostate cancer

Ian McKellen in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," 2002. Photo: New Line Cinema

In an interview with The Mirror, Sir Ian McKellen revealed that he's been living with prostate cancer for several years. While it's upsetting news, he says that his form is "contained," and that he and his doctors are staying on top of it.

"Many, many men die from it but it’s one of the cancers that is totally treatable so I have 'waitful watching.' I am examined regularly and it’s just contained, it’s not spreading. I’ve not had any treatment."

"You do gulp when you hear the news. It’s like when you go for an HIV test, you go ‘arghhh is this the end of the road?’ They come and say you have cancer of the prostate and then they say you can have it zapped, you can have it snipped but you are not a candidate for that. You are waitful watching."

McKellen goes on to say that he remains diligent and hopeful for his chances at a full and lengthy life, which makes those of us who are fans very, very happy to hear.

Ian McKellen Reveals He Has Prostate Cancer [The Hollywood Reporter]



  1. “It is really, really wonderful that in your old age you are protected by specialists who understand your problems and sort them out for you. Well, isn’t that what we all need?” 

  2. “he remains diligent and hopeful for his chances at a full and lengthy life”

    I wish him all the best, but if he hasn’t had a full life yet, what the hell chance do I have? :-)

  3. my dad just got diagnosed with prostate cancer, early stages. I’m feeling better about it and this has helped. thanks for posting. 

    1. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 3 years ago. He then went into high research mode and decided in the end to switch to an all vegan diet. His PSA numbers have improved and he’s still living and otherwise quite healthy. He’s become a raging fundamentalist evangelical vegan, though, which is a bit disconcerting. (I’ve teased him that he’s become a China Study thumper.)

      Here’s wishing your father well with or without massive changes in dietary “religion”. ;)

    1. How did they misquote him, then? It’d be nice if the agent was specific in how it was misunderstood/misrepresented.

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